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How to Future Proof Your Local Government

August 25, 2022

It’s important to prepare for future events that could impact how your building, planning & zoning, or code enforcement department functions. Systems that work in the present may not work well in the future if a natural disaster or health crisis strikes.

Natural Disasters

In 2021, there were 64 severe thunderstorms and 21 hurricanes across the U.S.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an above-average hurricane season this year (2022), for a seventh consecutive year of above-average hurricane activity.

Tornadoes, snowstorms, fires, floods, and a multitude of other natural disasters are unfortunate possibilities for communities with long-lasting implications.

Small-Scale Physical Threats

There are also physical risks associated with fires, floods, and theft, on a smaller scale, such as a flood in a local government office.

This can damage property and information.

Health Crisis

Many departments were left with processes that no longer served them or their citizens when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down offices and introduced physical distancing, quarantines, and a push for remote work.

Staff across the U.S. had to shift to drop boxes outside their offices, emails, and phone calls for slower community development.

What is the Solution?

Local governments can be better prepared for the unknown by adopting online community development software.

  • Work Quickly in the Field
    Paper can limit and slow down staff in the event of an emergency. Physical copies of information are hard to share, difficult to track, and easy to lose.
    Online information is the opposite – it is easy to share, track, and find.
    Staff can issue prohibit occupancy orders with software, citizens can apply for building permits from home, inspectors can start and finish inspections on-site, and all parties can work together online.
  • Encourage Remote Work
    Remote work is the way of the future, regardless of a natural disaster or health crisis. There is a growing expectation to offer flexibility and online work.
    Citizens and companies want to be able to work from anywhere, and at any time. There is no need to travel to the government office to submit applications or pick up building permits when online software is used, or for paper to pass between people.
    Offering online work also communicates to contractors and builders deciding where to start a project that yours is a great place to build.
  • Enable Shared Services
    In times of crisis, local governments can receive support from surrounding communities online. Cloudpermit offers an unlimited user license so additional support can be added to the system without any hassle.
  • Keep All Information and Communication in One Place
    It can be difficult to track information and communication, whether governments are using paper-based or on-premises systems (programs installed on specific computers).
    It’s easier to understand what is going on in a situation when all information and communication exist in the same place. Staff can view all case history, access building permits, and property information, and see planning applications online.
  • Store Data Securely in the Cloud
    Local governments can keep their data safe from physical vulnerabilities such as hardware failures, theft, forgeries, lost files, and natural disasters by storing it online.
    The cloud is a secure and reliable way to store data with password-protected accounts and regular security testing.

Online community development software can help prepare your local government for the future and its unknowns. Learn more about our software.