The Resilient Nashua Initiative was formed in 2017 to update Nashua, New Hampshire’s hazard mitigation plan. Through this initiative, the input from business and organizations helped develop resilience strategies that improved emergency response and pre-disaster recovery planning.
The partnership prioritized businesses and infrastructure for the city that utility providers can use to restore services post-disaster. The efforts to plan together resulted in a city that is more resilient and has stronger relationships with the local businesses.
This Nashua community is just one example of how a community is more resilient because of the public and private sectors working together to strengthen it. These public-private partnerships help ensure that when a community is preparing for disaster, no person or area is overlooked.
To help your own community build these public-private partnerships, FEMA has created a guide that helps coordinate mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
The Building Private-Public Partnerships guide provides recommendations and best practices to establish and maintain these partnerships. The guide helps public and private sector emergency managers at all levels collaborate to increase community resilience. While the examples and insight provided focus on local community efforts, the guidance provided can be used at any level.
This guide was part of our effort to expand on the recent National Response Framework update. The update focuses on non-governmental capabilities and how they can help communities before, during and after a disaster. The updated National Response Framework also discusses how important it is that government efforts align with the private sector. Private-public structures reflect the interconnected and complex environments that emergency managers operate in. As disasters become more frequent and severe, it is more important than ever that our efforts are unified and complimentary.
In addition to addressing issues of increasing resilience challenges, the guide also helps to confirm mutual priorities, engage in problem-solving dialogue and identify how public-private partnerships can benefit the whole community — whether responding to a local crisis or a national disaster.
When public and private sectors work together, they can make a huge difference in the disaster recovery. Their combined efforts can contribute to the following:
- Shorter periods of disruption following a disaster;
- More efficient delivery of lifesaving and life-sustaining services;
- More resilient community lifelines, critical infrastructure and supply chains;
- Improved health and safety; and
- Inclusion and equity in community resilience and disaster response efforts.