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Community Resilience Planning Resources

Hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires can’t be prevented, but informed community planning could reduce the impact of these hazards. NIST brought together state and local governments, first responders and businesses across the country to develop tools that will improve planning and help communities recover more quickly from disasters.


forest fire
A FEMA photo of a forest fire
Credit: Jana Baldwin/FEMA

NIST is partnering with state and local governments and businesses to integrate resilience into their community planning and daily operations. By properly preparing, a community can reduce the physical and economic damage from a disaster. However, many communities don’t have the information they need about available approaches and associated risks to incorporate resilience into their planning. Resilience planning tools must be able to meet the needs of a specific community, yet flexible enough to work for a wide range of communities. 

Building on decades of NIST research into the effects of disasters on infrastructure, NIST partnered with stakeholders across the country to develop the Community Resilience Planning Guide. The six-step disaster resilience risk management guide and its companion tools, including the Economic Decision Guide, provide a practical approach for communities to integrate resilience into their local planning activities that impacts buildings, public utilities and other infrastructure.  

Since its release, the guide has already been used by state and local governments in Colorado, Oregon and Delaware to review or improve their emergency management, hazard mitigation and recovery plans. NIST also works with experts and practitioners through its Community Resilience Panel to develop a comprehensive repository of information to support communities that want to enhance their resilience.