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Defining Disaster Resilience
October 05, 2010
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Resilience is one of the buzz words that is running a muck in our emergency management profession today. While once we sought to be disaster resistant, today we want to be resilient. The term is a better one than disaster resistant to describe the end state that we are seeking. For an academic look at what it means to be resilient see Building Resilient Communities: A Preliminary Framework for Assessment

An abstract of the paper is below:

"There is a growing need in the fields of homeland security and disaster management for a comprehensive, yet useful approach to building resilient communities. This article moves beyond the ongoing debate over definitions and presents a preliminary framework for assessing community resilience. Pulling from an interdisciplinary body of theoretical and policy-oriented literature, the authors provide a definition of resilience and develop a theory of community resilience as a function of resource robustness and adaptive capacity. Moving forward, the article develops the groundwork for further operationalization of resilience attributes according to five key community subsystems: ecological, economic, physical infrastructure, civil society, and governance. Through the examination of each community subsystem, a preliminary, community-based, resilience assessment framework is provided for continued development and refinement. When fully developed, the framework will serve as tool for guiding planning and allocating resources."

One thing for sure is that resilience is not measured by the number of widgets you buy with Homeland Security funds. It is grounded in the economics of a community and even the governance of the regional community trying to pull itself out of a disaster.

George Baker shared the link.
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