A rock groyne at Atlantic Beach, New York.

Training Sessions Build Capacity for Recovery and Planning

Damage from Hurricane Sandy emphasized the need for East Coast coastal communities to prepare for future hazards and the impacts of climate change. Training sessions helped decision makers in these communities learn about and use data and tools to inform their planning efforts.

Stressors and impacts

Hurricane Sandy served as a wake-up call for many coastal communities along the East Coast: they learned that planning and preparation for future hazards and climate change impacts needs to take place before the next disaster. As this type of planning was new to many communities, they needed assistance in identifying the most beneficial data, tools, and resources that could inform their local planning and decision making.

New tools and approaches

In their initial efforts to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, a range of partners in New York learned of resources and training available through NOAA's Office for Coastal Management. The partners obtained training for using the approach outlined in the Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk guidebook and for Coastal Inundation Mapping (see the Expertise | Training Courses page of this website for more information on these trainings).

New York's Department of State completed an evaluation of Sandy’s impacts on natural and cultural resources using the Roadmap approach. Working with staff from the Office for Coastal Management, they also created a composite map of inundation hazards and future flood risk. This map was used to support a community reconstruction program called New York Rising. The map eventually helped local partners assess the vulnerability of key community assets. As part of the mapping effort, staff members from New York communities received training that could help them undertake independent mapping projects in the future.

The partners also learned of other tools and training related to long-term community recovery planning. These resources include NOAA’s Coastal County Snapshots, CanVis, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer, and the Habitat Priority Planner (see sidebar for links). Having access to new tools—and the skills to use them—helped many communities begin planning for long-term recovery and resilience.

Looking forward

The Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk helped planners complete the important step of assessing damages from Sandy. It also took them a step further, helping them identify funding requirements for recovery. Training for Coastal Inundation Mapping also enhanced the capacity of local offices to undertake future mapping efforts in support of local vulnerability assessments. In the wake of Sandy's impacts, partners in New York learned of tools, data, training, and other resources available to aid in the long-term recovery and resilience planning for their coastal communities. 

Story Credit: 
Adapted from NOAA Digital Coast, "Planning for Resilient Coastal Communities in New York."
Banner Image Credit: 
Agiorgio. CC-BY-SA-3.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode, via Wikimedia Commons
Last modified: 
17 January 2017 - 3:38pm