In early 2020, with his long-time friend and videographer David Taylor, then Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division chair Jim Schwab, FAICP, conceived the idea that the division could support the production of a documentary film on the role of planners and planning in helping communities address challenges posed by natural disasters and climate change. The goal would be both to educate and to inspire local officials, the public, planners, universities, and other public decision makers to take such issues seriously in a quest to build more resilient communities. This would be a new and bold way for HMDR to project its message beyond its own members to a wider world that is awakening to the high costs of inaction and lack of attention to natural hazards.

Initially delayed by the pandemic, the project got underway in late 2021 with the creation of an advisory committee and some first steps toward planning both the overall narrative and identifying opportunities for developing content. Nearly a year later, the project is in full swing. The crew, now consisting of Taylor, Schwab, Kim Taylor (David’s wife and an experienced broadcaster), Eugene Henry, AICP, Dayea Shim, AICP, and Nicole Henningfield, has filmed in San Diego at the 2022 APA National Planning Conference, in Orlando at the 2022 annual conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and in July in and around Panama City, Florida, an area recovering from the 2018 impact of Hurricane Michael. In the summer of 2023, they worked with volunteers in other locations in Florida, Colorado, and Iowa, and are establishing relationships elsewhere including Texas. To date, they have completed more than 50 interviews. The aim is to produce a stirring hour-long film that will reach a wide audience.

View the latest trailer on YouTube

Support the Project with a Donation Today!

APA recently created a donations page on its website to enable online donations directly dedicated to this project. Funds support travel for the film crew, needed supplies, and other film development and promotional costs.

Persons preferring to send a check may mail a donation to:

APA Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division, P.O. Box 34818, Philadelphia PA 19101.

HMDR will recognize donors throughout the duration of the project. With the new crowdfunding option at the link above, we will track donors for recognition on this web page, through social media, and in the film credits. We will also reward contributors with ongoing information about the making of the film, our progress, and special viewing opportunities as we approach completion and distribution. 

Thank you, donors!

To date, we wish to recognize the following who contributed prior to the creation of the donations link:

Tier 1 contributors ($10,000 and up)

Tier 2 contributors ($5,000-$9,999):


Tier 3 contributors ($1,000-$4,999):

APA Divisions Council (Product Development Grant)

Association of State Floodplain Managers (in-kind donation)

Michael Baker International

JEO Consulting

Tier 4 contributors ($500-$999):

Jim Schwab Consulting LLC

OVID Solutions

Richard Roths, AICP

Clarion Associates

Punchard Consulting

Tier 5     $100-$499

Eugene Henry, AICP

Tier 6     $10-$99

William Cesanek, AICP

Kate De Gennaro

Kara Drane, AICP

Karla Ebenbach, AICP

Alejandro Fuentes

James Schwab, FAICP

Michele Steinberg