Community planning, land use regulations and long-term community investments are potent and effective methods for building long-term resilience. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that approximately $139 million in flood losses were avoided during the 2013 floods due to local land use policies requiring freeboard above the Base Flood Elevation. $5 million in capital investments in flood mitigation saved the City of Longmont $22 million in damages. During the 2013 flood event, not every community impacted by the floods experienced a 100-year (1% chance flood) event, but studies on Colorado’s flood risk and vulnerability show that had the 100-year flood event occurred throughout all of Larimer, Boulder, and Weld counties, freeboard requirements would have avoided $1.7 billion in damages.

There are multiple potential methods for integrating resiliency into every-day community planning, land use decisions and investment practices. One method is to create and implement a local resiliency framework; another is to develop a process to educate and engage with the public to build knowledge and develop common priorities. Yet another method is to integrate resiliency into a community or organization’s every-day business, including plans,  policies, and evaluations of investment decisions. This section provides an overview of opportunities to incorporate resiliency into the following types of plans and policies:

  • Hazard mitigation plans
  • Land use practices
  • Comprehensive plans
  • Capital improvement plans