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USA - Pew-Led Network Helps States Plan for Rising Costs and Impacts of Flooding

Officials and experts from across country share lessons and strategies through virtual collaboration

Long after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, state governments will continue to face monumental challenges, including what promises to be a sustained future with increased climate-related disaster risks. This grim reality, long forecast by climate scientists, has been made clear yet again in 2020, a record year for wildfires and hurricanes. And this problem is growing at a time when states are already grappling with budget shortfalls that are unlikely to ease soon.

To help, The Pew Charitable Trusts launched the State Resilience Planning Group (SRPG), a forum for officials from numerous states to collaborate on innovative practices and lessons learned as they develop and implement comprehensive resilience plans.

Since 2019, more than 10 states have tasked officials, through executive or legislative action, with coordinating across agencies and localities to identify strategies to better prepare communities for climate-related hazards. The SRPG provides a peer network for state officials from a diverse slate of coastal and inland states, each in various stages of developing approaches to reduce impacts from multiple types of flood risk—including tropical storm surge and riverine and flash flooding. The group has members from 12 states and has continued its work virtually throughout the pandemic.

This fall, Pew hosted SRPG expert discussions focused on three cross-cutting areas: measuring resilience; identifying sources of funding and financing; and developing residential buyout strategies.

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