The Department of Homeland Security and the city of Norfolk in Virginia launched a new tool to guide local governments in creating plans to secure people and resources before natural disasters or any damaging incident. City officials helped develop the new Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard in partnership with the DHS Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence, the agency said Tuesday.
PIRS enables communities to improve the integration of disaster mitigation across a community’s network of plans and to reduce vulnerabilities to hazards. The tool also guides in decision-making for construction and development in hazardous areas.
“The resilience scorecard was a great tool to allow us to evaluate our existing plans and policies against the backdrop of resilience,” said George Homewood, interim director of development for Norfolk. “Perhaps most revealing were not inconsistencies in our plans, but that we had not fully incorporated all our policies and actions aimed at resilience into our most important policy document, our comprehensive plan.”
Researchers worked with city staff to create PIRS using spatial data from geographic information systems mapping technology and analysis of local plans to identify areas most vulnerable to hazards. Norfolk is using PIRS to address the city’s vulnerability to flood risks.