FEMA Grant to Create an Economic Recovery Training Program for US Companies

Georgia Tech Award and Alliance Solutions Group support national educational curricula on disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery

Brandy Nagel, program director and faculty researcher at Georgia Tech’s Institutional Innovation Institute, will teach some economic disaster preparedness and recovery courses under the FEMA grant.

As the nation’s societies become increasingly complex through innovation and technological advances, the potential for massive economic damage in the aftermath of disasters has increased.

In response, Georgia Tech’s Institutional Innovation Institute is creating a training and education curriculum focused on building economic recovery capacity among U.S. businesses by providing them with the skills and tools to support societal and regional resilience to disasters.

Supported by a three-year funding award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the training will also provide economic development organizations with tools and resources to support businesses during the major disaster recovery process.

Alliance Solutions Group, a Newport News, Virginia-based company that provides emergency and safety management solutions to the public, private, and defense sectors, works with the Institutional Innovation Institute in research, development, and training delivery.

FEMA developed the grant in response to the need to enhance economic resilience among US businesses, specifically in the wake of major disasters with long recovery periods. The agency estimates that 75% of companies without business continuity plans will fail within three years of a natural disaster.

Nationally with a mix of virtual and in-person delivery, courses will be available in all 50 states, six territories across FEMA’s 10 regions, and 573 Native American communities. When the courses are completed and ready for delivery, they will be published in the catalog of FEMA’s National Training and Education Division.

The Institute for Institutional Innovation’s EDA University Center, an economic development program funded by the Department of Economic Development, has identified resilience and recovery challenges for economic development zones across the country.

“Based on this analysis, we have taken a comprehensive approach in developing an approach to pre-disaster preparedness and disaster recovery that enhances our national economic resilience,” said David Bridges, Vice President of the Institutional Innovation Institute. “This educational series proactively positions companies to deal with and mitigate the consequences of disasters as they occur.”

Georgia Tech and Alliance Solutions Group’s National Training Program is designed to improve the readiness of economic development organizations, engage communities, advance international trade, and revitalize community lifelines. The program also includes a recovery phase to enhance preparedness, economic recovery and community resilience at the national level. Training courses and resource kits include:

  • Whole Society Approach to Establishing Regional Economic Resilience: Train economic development organizations, planners, and local/regional leaders who will integrate economic development strategies with risk mitigation plans to enhance regional economic resilience.
  • Export resilience during international disasters: Training export-focused export development organizations tailored to exporters and the unique needs of international companies to learn how to stabilize and recover exports quickly during disasters.
  • Crisis Leadership and Decision Making: Implementing Community Lifelines to Accelerate Economic Recovery: Training of community leaders, managers and EDOs that will prepare decision makers to stabilize and restore lifelines.

As the country’s oldest, largest and most diversified university economic development organization, the Institutional Innovation Institute brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and research into strategic planning and ecosystem building for a comprehensive training programme.

Alliance Solutions Group has over 16 years of corporate experience developing innovative training, exercise and management programs that build sustainable disaster preparedness, environmental, health and safety capabilities for private and public sector clients.

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