Communities striving to improve their resilience by better planning for and dealing with hazard events will want to review six new “Guide Briefs” issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The documents complement NIST’s Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which lays out a six-step process to plan for resilience in the face of natural, technological, and human-caused hazards.
Each of the Guide Briefs is intended to be used in conjunction with the NIST Guide, although several can be used independently by any community interested in taking steps to improve its resilience. For example, Guide Brief 12, “Short-Term Implementation Tasks”, suggests ways that communities can shorten recovery time as longer-term solutions are being put in place. These short-term tasks could include:
- Developing a post-event recovery plan that streamlines the permitting process, adds resilience during repairs, protects the natural environment, preserves the community voice in approval of construction projects, and handles and processes the increase in construction activities.
- Developing processes and guidelines for post-event assessments to accelerate evaluation and designation of buildings that can be used while being repaired.
- Adopting the latest building codes and enforcing design and inspection requirements.
Guide Brief 8, “Overcoming Myths about Community Resilience Planning”, acknowledges that “Planning for low-probability high-consequence hazard events can be challenging since immediate needs often take precedence over future events.” It presents and refutes seven common perceptions and myths which can become barriers to broad community acceptance and participation in community resilience planning, including:
- A serious hazard event has never occurred here and it will not happen in my lifetime.
- There is no political will to address these complicated problems and their controversial solutions.
- Budgets are tight, we are short of staff, and we cannot afford to spend the time or money on resilience projects.
- Our emergency operation plans will lead to a successful recovery.
Other Guide Briefs in this latest release by NIST describe different community types, offer assistance in summarizing resilience goals, linking a community’s social dimensions with different clusters of building types, and how to determine performance goals for buildings in various clusters.
The latest Guide Briefs and six earlier Briefs are available as individual documents at: https://www.nist.gov/topics/community-resilience/community-resilience-planning-guide-briefs