New Research: State Flood Resilience and Adaptation Planning

Our new research on state resilience planning, developed by SRP partner Urban Institute, provides background and analysis on flood plans across all states, offers deep dives into select states’ planning processes, and gives recommendations for strengthening ongoing state flood planning efforts. 

Click here for the report: State Flood Resilience and Adaptation Planning: Challenges and Opportunities


States have a critical role in flood resilience — through proactive planning and policy development, they are a link between local and federal government, helping communities access resources and implement solutions. Currently, 15 states are crafting comprehensive approaches to address natural hazards, at least 10 of which have been initiated since 2019. Amidst this rapidly changing landscape, state leaders are looking for expertise and practices successfully tested in other states to guide their efforts. 

The State Resilience Partnership is a network of organizations — convened by the American Flood Coalition and The Pew Charitable Trusts — united by a commitment to support state leaders as they craft resilience strategies. The Partnership will provide research and best practices related to key topics, expertise across a range of sectors, and opportunities for knowledge sharing between states.

Announcing The State Resilience Partnership

We, the undersigned organizations, hereby establish the State Resilience Partnership to develop and curate expertise and research supporting state leaders as they craft resilience plans, policies, and programs across the United States. Together our organizations represent nonprofits, academic institutions, and networks of practitioners working at all levels of government, pooling our collective resources and expertise to catalogue, propose, and elevate best practices and approaches supporting state resilience leaders – including governors, legislators, cabinet secretaries, and resilience officers.

As the costliest and most common natural hazard, flooding has cost our nation more than $900 billion in damages and economic losses since 2000, with no state spared. State officials, the linchpins between federal resources and local needs, are exploring more proactive roles to better prepare communities for the rising impacts of natural hazards. With more than 15 states devising comprehensive approaches to resilience, including at least 10 launching efforts in the last two years, current demand for state-scaled plans, policies, and programs is unprecedented. These recent state initiatives are working to break silos across agencies and localities to better understand risks and create new systems that support solutions. Despite the growing trend, there is no established practice or network of experts to inform statewide resilience frameworks.

The State Resilience Partnership will address this need by offering resources, expertise, and curated research to fill knowledge gaps identified by public officials, practitioners, and the undersigned organizations. Although our initial focus is on flooding, the State Resilience Partnership’s aim is to support state leaders holistically – recognizing the multi-hazard mandates established in many states and reflecting a multisectoral approach to address the comprehensive impacts of natural hazards on communities.


The undersigned organizations commit to collaborating and leveraging resources and capacity to achieve the following shared objectives:

Advance resilience initiatives by offering sustained, focused assistance to practitioners responsible for carrying out statewide and regional resilience frameworks
Develop and promote research on effective strategies, approaches, and techniques to increase state resilience and reduce natural hazard impacts, including practices for incorporating resilience principles into recurring state and local capital investments
Educate government officials on established and emerging practices, resources, initiatives, and programs that enable effective and durable planning
Support state efforts to minimize barriers to accessing and deploying funding and capital investments

The State Resilience Partnership is a non-lobbying, non-advocacy resource to inform the work of state resilience practitioners and officials. Therefore, no lobbying activities at any level or within any unit of government will occur under the Partnership’s banner.


The undersigned organizations of the State Resilience Partnership mutually agree to advance the following values foundational to effective state resilience.

  • Lead with science
  • Maximize nature
  • Address inequities
  • Think for the future
  • Plan across sectors
  • Honor culture and heritage
  • Recognize local nuance
  • Strive for co-benefits
  • Commit to implementation
  • Foster collaboration and bipartisanship

As communities around the country continue to experience the economic and humanitarian impacts of flooding, state governments must take an active stance to ensure equitable and effective approaches. By launching the State Resilience Partnership, we commit to supporting state-level stakeholders as they move the needle towards much-needed comprehensive resilience solutions.


Alliance for National and Community Resilience
American Flood Coalition
Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Coastal States Organization
Enterprise Community Partners
International Code Council
Iowa Flood Center
The Nature Conservancy
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Water Institute of the Gulf
Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy
Urban Institute
Urban Land Institute
Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary Law School

Coming soon

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the Partnership will release research, case studies, and other pertinent content about key topic areas in state flood resilience —  from state-level planning efforts to funding and financing to data and risk assessment to regulations to governance. Our research will be informed by the needs that we hear directly from state leaders.

Stay tuned for in-depth research on state-level flood planning led by Urban Institute and released through the Partnership in Fall 2021.

Additional resources