The Department of Commerce (Commerce) is launching the Montana Ready Communities Initiative (MRCI), a program to help individuals, communities, and the state better prepare for, bounce back from, and thrive in the face of natural disasters. Rather than focusing on response and recovery, MRCI is a proactive, holistic, and collective approach at the state-level to floods, wildfires, droughts, and other adverse events. This innovative approach ensures that the State of Montana plans for long-term resilience to natural disasters and aligns projects and priorities across state agencies. In addition, MRCI will collaborate with local, state, federal, public and private partners to leverage resources and deliver measurable results that create an adaptable and vibrant future for Montana’s economy, environment, and quality of life.
MRCI will begin by creating Montana’s Disaster Resiliency Framework (Framework). The intent of the Framework is to develop an integrated and interdisciplinary strategy to ensure that long-term planning, projects, and priorities align with the existence of natural disasters while building resilience to these adverse events. Numerous states have developed similar strategies that have garnered national recognition and tangible results; the State of Montana will build upon their success and tailor the Framework to the State of Montana’s unique assets, resources, and communities. Colorado’s Resiliency Framework and Vermont’s Roadmap to Resilience are both helpful examples of this type of approach.
The steering committee for MRCI will hold its first meeting on August 16, 2017. Throughout the upcoming year, a robust planning process will occur to collect the knowledge, experience, and perspective of state agencies, local governments, nonprofits, the private sector, and the general public. If you would like to be involved or have any questions, please contact the Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division at DOCCDD@mt.gov or (406) 841-2770.