Planning can make communities safer. Techniques range from avoiding floodways and areas likely to be hit by landslides to designing around other natural hazards and creating human-built environments that discourage criminal activity. This chapter provides a broad introduction to planning to deal with floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and landslides, and to applying principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) to neighborhoods and entire communities.
Weblinks from Chapter
- The “Four Basic Principles of CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) were taken from CPTED Watch ; that website has now been suspended, but see “Supplemental Resources” for other CPTED information
- For Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain maps, see the website or use a search engine to find “FEMA, floodplain maps”
- For the frequency of the NOAA Weather Radio “All Hazards” station nearest you, see the NOAA website.
- Arkansas’ Tornado Shelter Initiative for Residences and Schools: Mitigation and Case Studies.
- National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Storm Surge; the site includes visual and other models to help the user understand storm surges
- The National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a history of major hurricanes, including maps
- A federal publication on wildfires is also available.
- U. .S. Geological Survey, 2008 National Seismic Hazard Maps ; these are updated every six years; for other maps, including state-specific information, see the more general website.
- U.S. Geological Survey “Landslide Warning Signs”.
- The easiest entry point for general searches for the U.S. Census is through “American Factfinder”.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD’s Public Housing Program
- What natural hazards are potential threats to your community? Does your community have appropriate warning and evacuation plans for those threats?
- Take a walk through a downtown area near your home. Is most of the route subject to easy natural surveillance? Is it closely associated with buildings whose occupants are likely to have a sense of guardianship? If the answer to either question is “no”, how hard would it be to make that walking route more defensible?
- Look at road maps for newly developed areas of your community. Are there multiple points of access to new neighborhoods? How difficult would it be to add points of access those that appear to need more?
- Go on-line and find the floodplain maps for your community. Is there much development in the floodplain?
- How should elected officials in your community balance the desire of some people to live on cul-de-sacs with the need for multiple access routes to and from neighborhoods – both for emergency vehicles entering and for residents leaving during an evacuation?
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer on-line information on preparing for tornadoes.
- The National Disaster Preparedness Education Coalition has also published a guide to preparing for tornadoes.
- All state governments and many local governments in hurricane prone areas provide information on evacuation. For some good examples, see Virginia Department of Transportation (includes a video), the City of New Orleans, and Nassau County, New York.
- See “Prepare Yourself for Hurricane Season,” from Savannah, Georgia
See “Weblinks from Chapter” for extensive list of supplemental resources.
Common Search Terms
Use these terms in search engines to find additional examples and other resources:
evacuation plan, floodplain map, wildfire hazard area or maps, landslide hazard areas or maps, earthquakes, tornado safety, CPTED, crime prevention through environmental design, disaster planning