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Community Disaster Resilience


Natural and man-made disasters cause an estimated $57B in average annual costs, with large single events resulting in losses of $100B or more. Recent events, such as the World Trade Center disaster, Hurricane Katrina, and Superstorm Sandy, have highlighted a need for current practice to consider the functionality and interdependencies of buildings and infrastructure systems and the role they play in restoring the fabric of the community following a hazard event.

What is NIST doing in resilience?

torreTo address this problem, NIST will convene a panel on disaster resilience standards to continue development of a community-centric resilience framework and provide guidelines for resilient buildings and infrastructure lifelines. This approach, which is included in the President's Climate Action Plan*, will require multidisciplinary expertise to develop improved methods communities can use to prepare for, resist, respond to, and recover from hazard events more rapidly and at a lower cost. The NIST program is intended to be complementary to disaster resilience efforts within the Federal government and the private sector.
Credit: NIST

Disaster Resilience Fellows: NIST is pleased to announce that nine Disaster Resilience Fellows have been selected to support the development of a Disaster Resilience Framework and establishment of the Disaster Resilience Standards Panel (DRSP).

NIST's Disaster Resilience program includes the following areas:

  • Disaster Resilience Workshops:NIST will convene a series of workshops engaging a broad network of stakeholders to help develop the Disaster Resilience Framework, with a focus on the role that buildings and infrastructure lifelines play in ensuring community resilience.
  • Disaster Resilience Framework: NIST will develop a Disaster Resilience Framework to establish the overall performance goals; assess existing standards, codes, and practices; and identify gaps that must be addressed in order to bolster community resilience.
  • Disaster Resilience Standards Panel (DRSP): The DRSP will be a self-governing body, initially supported by NIST, that will meet regularly to develop Model Resilience Guidelines for critical buildings and infrastructure lifelines essential to community resilience. The DRSP also will continue development of the Disaster Resilience Framework.
  • Model Resilience Guidelines: The Model Resilience Guidelines will promote best practices, methods and innovative solutions to help communities develop their own disaster resilience plan for critical buildings and infrastructure systems.
  • Community Resilience Center of Excellence: The Community Resilience Center of Excellence will focus on tools to support community disaster resilience, including the development of integrated, systems-based computational models to assess community infrastructure resilience and guide community-level resilience investment decisions. The proposed center also will develop a data management infrastructure, as well as tools and best practices to improve the collection of disaster and resilience data.
* The President's Climate Action Plan can be found at