Webinar Recording and Slides: “Building Economic Resilience in Your Community: Linking Economic Development and Hazard Mitigation Planning”

Hazard mitigation and economic development activities are both critical to the long-term prosperity of regions and communities, but they are often conducted separately. As a result, hazard mitigation plans and economic development strategies can be disconnected, making it difficult to ensure that businesses and regional economies are prepared for natural disasters and able to recover quickly. However, history has shown that a region’s success is inherently linked to its economic resilience – in other words, its ability to anticipate, withstand, and bounce back from any shocks to its businesses and overall economy, whether those stem from natural hazards, climate change, or shifting economic or market conditions.

Considering hazard mitigation and economic development planning as interrelated processes is one way of building economic resilience. This webinar highlights approaches to aligning Hazard Mitigation Plans and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) that can help to ensure that businesses can continue operating during and after severe weather events; promote the location of businesses in safe areas; diversify economies and reduce reliance on sectors that are particularly vulnerable to hazards and climate change; allow marketing to businesses seeking to locate in communities that are safe and well-prepared for disasters; and more. It features recommendations from a recent technical assistance project conducted by the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation and the University of Louisville’s Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development for the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments in North Carolina.

Click here for the webinar PowerPoint slides (PDF)


  • Josh Human, Director, University of Louisville’s Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development (Louisville, KY)
  • Andrea Pompei Lacy, Project Manager, University of Louisville’s Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development (Louisville, KY)
  • Will Brooks, Regional Planning Manager, Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments (Henderson, NC)


  • Megan McConville, Program Manager, NADO Research Foundation

This webinar was conducted with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Click here to read the final report from this technical assistance project, Building Economic Resilience in the Kerr-Tar Region: Recommendations for Linking Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies and Hazard Mitigation Plans.

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Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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