Post-Sandy Municipal Needs Assessment

In the spring and summer of 2014, staff of the NJ Resiliency Network conducted a broad assessment of municipal needs with local officials from 86 municipalities across the 10 coastal counties hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. The “Post-Sandy Municipal Needs Assessment for Long-Term Recovery and Resiliency Planning” was designed as a brief, online survey instrument to quickly and efficiently collect insights from local officials. Through a combination of open-ended and multiple choice responses, local officials were asked to provide examples of their top recovery and resilience issues and to identify their level of interest in support services available for a range of commonly cited municipal recovery and resilience issues.

Municipal Needs for Recovery and Resilience -- Key Findings

The survey indicated a wide variety of municipal needs and interests, corresponding to the municipality’s extent of damage from Sandy, stage of recovery and capacity to plan, and capacity to fund and implement mitigation strategies and projects. An analysis of the most prevalent municipal needs for technical assistance and funding for disaster recovery and resilience initiatives revealed the following four key findings:

  1. Most at risk municipalities have not adequately assessed their vulnerability, and there is wide variability in the approach and depth of analysis municipalities use when conducting risk and vulnerability assessments.
  2. Municipalities seek technical expertise in all areas of flood resilience planning and projects, requiring multiple layers of expertise, facilitators to assist them with the bureaucracy and funding to construct the projects.
  3. Municipalities prioritize funding needs for resilience of critical infrastructure, as opposed to flood protection measures that will aid in future events.
  4. Municipalities prioritize needed improvements to energy supply and back-up power, but are not looking at long-term resilient strategies.

Report materials are available for download using the links below: