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New NIST “EDGe$” Tool Can Help Communities Select Cost-Effective Resilience Projects

A powerful software-based technique for selecting cost-effective, infrastructure-based community resilience projects is now available to the public. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the EDGe$ (Economic Decision Guide Software) Tool that helps community planners and resilience officers, as well as economic development, budget, and public works officials. The new tool was announced at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in Austin, TX, on January 8, 2018, by Jennifer Helgeson, the economist leading the community resilience effort for the NIST Applied Economics Office. The EDGe$ software can be downloaded here.

EDGe$ provides a transparent and flexible economic methodology based on best-practices for evaluating investment decisions aimed at improving the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from natural, technology, and human-caused disruptive events. The tool helps to identify and compare the relevant present and future resilience costs and benefits associated with new capital investment alternatives versus maintaining a community’s status-quo. The benefits of resilience projects may include cost savings and avoided damages because enhancing resilience on a community-scale can create value, including co-benefits, even if a hazard event does not strike.

EDGe$ is based on the process found in the Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems (EDG). The EDG and EDGe$ can be used as standalone tools, but are most useful as part of a more comprehensive planning process and in combination with the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems. The EDG and EDGe$ encourage users to consider non-disaster related benefits (co-benefits and co-costs) of resilience planning.

For more information, see:

Released January 8, 2018, Updated May 4, 2021