The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) contracted with Tetra Tech Inc. (Tetra Tech) to facilitate an assessment of Iowa’s equity and diversity in disaster management plans, policies, and procedures. The project is designed to improve how Iowa prepares for, responds to, and assists underserved communities and historically marginalized populations with recovering from all types of disasters.

To better understand the expectations of emergency management at the State and local levels, Tetra Tech will engage communities across Iowa to discuss disaster response and recovery requirements through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The findings will inform Iowa’s ability to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into processes moving forward.

Share Your Opinion

Take the Whole Community Engagement Survey

Help us improve how we assist underserved and marginalized communities in disaster management. Take part in our survey to provide input on your current perception of equity in the state.

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Demographic Statistics for Iowa

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the communities served by your organizations is critical to ensuring that disaster management efforts are effective in protecting the life, safety, and health of the whole community. Inequities due to age, finances, mobility, and more, can contribute to barriers that result in individuals being ill-equipped and under prepared for emergencies. By identifying potential inequities at the City and County-level, you will be positioned to address them prior to an emergency, build the overall readiness of a community or individual, and increase the chances of survival during an emergency or recovery following a disaster.

Explore our interactive maps with demographic statistics on social vulnerability, socioeconomics, household composition, and more.

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Lessons Learned

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) seeks to operationalize equity, inclusion, and diversity frameworks in all emergency management efforts. HSEMD is currently navigating a multi-layered set of disasters across the State of Iowa stemming from flooding, wind events, and other natural disasters. The response has been both unique and dynamic and has shined a light on many lessons learned, promising practices, and innovations for future responses. These disasters also necessitated that a thorough assessment be conducted of the social equity and diversity of the Agency’s emergency management services. Because all disasters are local, HSEMD is also working with community, county, and state-level emergency management partners responsible for disaster response and recovery management efforts to ensure its collective mission serves all Iowans.

Access findings, results, and reports.

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Future Meeting Information

As a part of the effort to develop an equitable framework for disaster management, HSEMD invites stakeholders and members of the public to participate in a virtual meeting. This effort serves to strengthen equity in disaster management throughout the State to continue providing a high level of service to Iowa’s communities. Throughout the meeting, you will gain an understanding of the project, while having the opportunity to provide feedback based on your lived experiences during disasters in Iowa. Your participation will aid in identifying strengths, gaps, and best practices for how the State assists all Iowans dealing with disasters. Future meeting information will be posted as soon as it is scheduled.

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