Pennsylvania has recently begun mapping and prioritizing historic resources in targeted counties using FEMA grant money from Hurricane Sandy. This is why the program is critical,
“To date, among the most common strategies used by PEMA and FEMA to prevent or lessen the severity of future disaster impacts have been to acquire and demolish hazard-prone buildings to remove them from harm’s way. Such buildings may be located in early settlement areas and include those listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as well as buildings of an historic nature that remain undocumented.” (PA SHPO blog)
But the good news, “To date, only a few localities nationwide are known to have integrated historic property considerations into their hazard mitigation plans according to this guidance.”(PA SHPO blog) Chatham County is one of them.
More detailed information about Philadelphia’s planning is available in the article, Philadelphia to be first big city with disaster plan to protect historic buildings. Unlike Philly’s survey, however, Savannah needs to think about cultural resources, which is far more comprehensive than historic buildings. We need to protect archaeology sites, monuments, historic neighborhoods, historic trees, cemeteries, viewsheds and landscapes, parks, museums and historic sites and their collections as well as historic buildings.