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Answering the wicked questions around wildfire

How can diverse disciplines make sense of the complex problem of wildfire? What are some ways that professionals in disaster resilience, land use planning, building design, construction, and insurance become involved in a national policy push to end the destruction of communities by wildfire? These were the questions that two national organizations set out to answer in separate podcasted interviews with me about Outthink Wildfire™, NFPA’s wildfire policy initiative launched earlier this year.

The first brought me back to the planning world. I’ve been a member of the American Planning Association (APA) since the 1990s and helped found their membership division on Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery. It was a pleasure to speak with my good friend Jim Schwab, a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) and founder of APA’s National Center on Hazards Planning, on the latest installment of APA’s Resilience Roundtable podcast series.

We talked about how I got involved in planning, hazards and wildfire. We especially focused on how NFPA has evolved its wildfire work from a narrow approach on public outreach to a broader, potentially more impactful set of policy planks that can positively change future outcomes when wildfires occur.
You can listen to the 37-minute interview via Soundcloud directly on their website, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

The second returned me to the all-hazards world. Leslie Chapman-Henderson is another long-time friend and colleague in the natural hazards resilience business and the CEO and founder of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes - FLASH, Inc. On her podcast, Strong Homes, Safe Families! she interviews people with many different roles in the disaster resilience and risk reduction arena.

Our discussion covered many aspects of wildfire safety, starting with the basics about wildfire risk, how homes ignite, and moving on to risk reduction methods and the potential for real change that a policy initiative like Outthink Wildfire can instigate. You can listen to our 38-minute conversation on the Anchor FM website, or on your favorite podcatcher.

Enjoy these podcasts and when you’re finished, check out the February 23, 2021 edition of The NFPA Podcast for an additional discussion on “The Plan to Outthink Wildfire™.”

Photo: From saddleroad on Pixabay, June 24, 2021

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Michele Steinberg
Director, Wildfire Division, Disaster safety educator, land use planning advocate. Believes we can end home destruction from wildfires.

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