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Hazards Shouldn't Lead to Disasters: NIST Releases New Community Resilience Planning Guide

Construction of baffle walls on New York’s Rockaway Beach following Hurricane Sandy.
Credit: ©K.C.Wilsey/FEMA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today issued the Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems to help U.S. communities better withstand and rebound from the shocks of severe weather, earthquakes and other hazards.

Issued on the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which killed 157 people in the United States and wreaked havoc and destruction from Maine to North Carolina, the new planning guide is aimed at community leaders in both the public and private sectors. It lays out a practical six-step process that communities can follow to develop resilience plans to help them prepare for hazards, adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruptions.

"Given the breadth of impact extreme weather is having on American lives and commerce, it is clear that we have to do more to mitigate its effects," said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. "Improving local resilience efforts are a challenge that every city should address, and this planning guide can assist communities in developing preparedness plans to prevent hazards from becoming disasters."

Read the full Department of Commerce news release.

Access the guide, an FAQ, and an overview document called Guide at a Glance.

Read a feature story on the planning guide and other complementary NIST community resilience efforts.

Released October 29, 2015, Updated May 4, 2021