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Community Disaster Resilience

Recent events, such as the Joplin Tornado in Missouri, earthquakes in Chile and Christchurch, and Superstorm Sandy, have highlighted a need 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 disaster event.


torreTo address this problem, NIST manages a multi-faceted program to assist communities and the variety of stakeholders whose work and interests relate to the buildings and physical infrastructure systems of those communities. The NIST Community Resilience Program – part of a broader disaster resilience effort by the agency – complements disaster resilience efforts by Federal, state and local governments as well as by the private sector, including non-profit organizations. 



Credit: NIST

NIST's Disaster Resilience program includes the following areas:

  • Community Resilience Planning Guide (Guide) for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems *: Working closely with the private and public sectors, NIST is developing this planning guide to provide a methodology to help community leaders to establish their overall performance goals based on a community's social needs and physical assets; identify gaps in performance that must be addressed in order to bolster community resilience; and develop a prioritized action plan. A brief overview of the Guide can be found here.
  • Community Resilience Panel (Panel) for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems: The Community Resilience Panel will be a knowledgeable resource providing support to communities by developing guidelines, best practices, and other tools for resilience. Their work will enhance and build upon the Community Resilience Planning Guide structure and develop the Community Resilience Implementation Guidelines.
  • Community Resilience Implementation Guidelines: These guidelines will promote best practices, methods and innovative solutions to help communities implement the Guide and develop their own resilience plan for their community.
  • Disaster Resilience FellowsNIST has engaged Disaster Resilience Fellows with specialized expertise working with communities, buildings, and physical infrastructure systems. These experts will contribute to the Guide, the Guidelines and provide their expertise to the CRP.
  • Disaster Resilience Workshops: Since April 2014, NIST has been convening workshops engaging a broad network of stakeholders to help develop the Guide and the CRP, with a focus on the role that buildings and infrastructure systems play in ensuring community resilience.
  • Community Resilience Center of ExcellenceIn February 2015, NIST announced establishment of the Community Resilience Center of Excellence that is focusing on tools to support community resilience, including the development of integrated, systems-based computational models to assess community infrastructure resilience and guide community-level resilience investment decisions. The center, led by Colorado State University partnering with 10 other universities, also will develop a data management infrastructure, as well as tools and best practices to improve the collection of disaster and resilience data.
*The title has been renamed from "Community Disaster Resilience Framework" to better align this document with the National Preparedness Goal and to avoid confusion with the National Planning Frameworks.

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