The Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG) Economic Development & Planning (ED&P) Department’s planning efforts have been featured in the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) EDDs in Action Case Study Series. The case studies series demonstrates the wide breadth of programs, projects, and initiatives that Economic Development Districts (EDDs) support and implement to improve their regions, making them more resilient, prosperous, and better prepared for the future. The short case studies below are meant to inspire and show the possibilities for how EDDs can leverage federal and state funding to support a variety of initiatives across the regions they serve.
TARCOG’s intensive planning effort to develop a regional hazard mitigation plan for Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Division F region is the subject of the case study. TARCOG’s planning staff led nine counties (five outside of the TARCOG service area) through the hazard mitigation plan update process while integrating the plan updates together to create a regional understanding of natural hazard vulnerability and collaborative hazard mitigation actions. The planning process was conducted in two phases at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic requiring virtual engagement and the development of online tools, resources, and survey tools. The FEMA-approved plan is now being adopted by the over 100 participating jurisdictions enabling them to be eligible to receive FEMA hazard mitigation funding for identified mitigation actions. The AEMA Division F Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan was also awarded a 2022 NADO Impact Award.