Extreme weather events such as hurricanes and flooding impact our society in numerous ways. This was evident in New Jersey when Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern seaboard. The hurricane made landfall in New Jersey and caused billions of dollars in damage. It was one of the largest and costliest recorded storms to impact the U.S. Northeast. Much of the damage was associated with infrastructure; including buildings, transportation links and facilities, electricity distribution, water retaining structures, and water/wastewater treatment systems. The damage revealed the importance of appropriate preparation and response strategies in the face of extreme weather events.

The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) manages the majority of federal funds being used to assist the State in recovering from Superstorm Sandy. These funds come from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. DCA is committed to efficiently and effectively addressing the long-term needs of New Jersey’s Sandy-impacted residents and communities.

While many of the DCA Sandy Recovery programs are designed to help homeowners, tenants, landlords and developers, DCA recognized that county and local governments need data, information and tools to help them with resiliency and preparedness planning and established the Statewide and Regional Planning Assistance Grant Program (SRPAG).  To that end, in October 2015, DCA announced the Statewide and Regional Planning Assistance Grant Program and requested proposals from nonprofit organizations, universities and colleges to provide planning support for statewide and regional research and land use modeling tools for pre-disaster planning, disaster recovery and the advancement of statewide and regional resiliency planning.  Of the twelve proposals received, three were funded, based on a score ranking: NJIT, Rowan University and the University of Notre Dame.

These SRPAG-funded projects are addressing a range of storm-related resiliency issues including social, economic, environmental and/or infrastructure needs.  The funded activities also promote community engagement and collaboration at a regional level to further strengthen resilience via final work products that will be replicable beyond the initial phase of several pilot projects.  These projects will allow local decision makers to benefit from innovations in planning that have been developed and tested at the educational institutions and apply them to real-world solutions here in New Jersey.  Once implemented, these projects will provide immediate resiliency solutions replicable across New Jersey. Just as important, they can be utilized at little or no cost to our communities.

Click the links below to learn more about each of the resiliency-related planning tools that have been produced under the SRPAG program:


New Jersey Institute of Technology

University of Notre Dame

Rowan University