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Community resilience


Community resilience is the ability to prepare for anticipated hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. Activities, such as disaster preparedness—which includes prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery—are key steps to resilience. 

NIST manages a multi-faceted program, assisting communities and stakeholders on issues related to buildings and the interdependencies of physical infrastructure systems. The Community Resilience Program, part of NIST's broader disaster resilience work, complements efforts by others in the public and private sectors. NIST focuses on research, community planning and guidance and stakeholder engagement.

Learn more about the flexible and adaptable resources from NIST's Community Resilience program that will help put your community on the path toward greater resilience by watching this video.

NIST Economist and u.s. delegate to the Ipcc discusses climate change and resilience research

In the latest edition of NIST's blog, Taking Measure, Dr. Jennifer Helgeson describes how communities can make themselves more resilient in the face of climate related threats. In the blog conversation, Dr. Helgeson also describes her role in the IPCC report writing, what makes a community resilient, provides an example of how a community can become more resilient to climate change, and much more.

Read the blog post here.


We have two new success stories that describe the utility of the EDGe$ community resilience benefit-cost analysis tool: the Jackson County Utility Authority (JCUA) in Mississippi and Biloxi Bay, Mississippi. The JCUA wanted to understand the benefits of building a berm to protect a new water reclamation facility and Biloxi Bay conducted a comparative economic analysis that evaluated the costs and benefits of living shoreline relative to bulkheads for small-scale projects. Read the details here:

Jackson County Utility Authority

Biloxi Bay

Businesses Run by Minorities, Women and Vets Disproportionately Affected by Pandemic, NIST, NOAA Study Finds

Jennifer Helgeson and Payam Aminpour, research economists at NIST, published the findings of a joint NIST and NOAA study revealing that businesses run by minorities, women and veterans, deemed historically underrepresented group operated (HUGO) businesses, were dealt a much worse hand by the pandemic than other businesses. What’s more, the team saw that HUGO businesses reported harsher downturns from COVID-19 alone than even non-HUGO businesses that were struck by natural disasters on top of COVID-19. The researchers suggest that further work is required to address social inequity and economic fragility of HUGO businesses, especially those that face the complexity of additional shocks, such as natural hazards.
The research was published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Read the results of the research here.


Close-up of a map showing a city called Lumberton

The Trials and Triumphs of a Small City’s Hurricane Recovery Could Help Other Communities Bounce Back

In September 2018, a North Carolina city’s long road to recovery from Hurricane Matthew two years earlier became even longer. Lumberton, a small but diverse city of 21,000 people, 96 kilometers (60 miles) inland from the coast, unfortunately found itself in Hurricane Florence’s sights. The Lumber River, which bisects the city, swelled greatly. The flooding damaged hundreds of buildings, causing
Yalda Saadat poses sitting at a table at home, next to an open laptop and a vase of roses.

Spotlight: Yalda Sadaat Delves Into the Backbone of Urban Life, Infrastructure

Camila Espina Young poses outdoors for a head shot

Once Her Struggle, Now Her Strength: Camila Young Evaluates Shelters in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

Flames rising from a burning fence are spreading to a tree above and a shed nearby.

NIST Study Finds Wildfire Hazards in Residential Fences and Mulch Beds

The Research

Projects & Programs

Community Resilience Program

Community resilience has emerged as a way to reduce the direct and indirect costs due to natural, technological, and human-caused hazard events. There continues

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