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EDGe$ (Economic Decision Guide Software) Tool


The EDGe$ Tool brings to your fingertips a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective community resilience projects. This decision support software is designed to support those engaged in community-level resilience planning, including community planners and resilience officers, as well as economic development, budget, and public works officials. It provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions required to improve 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 versus maintaining a community’s status-quo. The benefits include cost savings and damage loss avoidance because enhancing resilience on a community scale creates value, including co-benefits, even if a hazard event does not strike.

The EDGe$ Tool:

  • Is an easy-to-use software application that assists decision makers in making resilience planning choices
  • Automates calculations in the Economic Decision Guide’s seven-step process
  • Helps the user to frame the economic decision process by identifying and comparing resilience-related benefits & costs of competing alternatives and the status quo (do-nothing option)
  • Is capable of including advanced economic considerations, including:
    • assignment of bearers of the identified costs/benefits
    • property rights (externalities)
    • graphical presentations
    • co-benefits and the resilience dividend
    • uncertainty
    • hazard probability/magnitude, benefits, costs, co-benefits, co-costs
  • Provides automatic easy-to-interpret economic indicator reports
  • Can be used as a standalone tool, but it is most useful as part of a more comprehensive planning process and in combination with the Guide.  

Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the tool 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 an in combination with the NIST  Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems.

This approach enables communities to utilize the built environment to reduce losses due to hazards and enable faster and more efficient recovery when hazards occur. It encourages users to consider non-disaster related benefits (co-benefits and co-costs) of resilience planning. Topics related to non-market values and uncertainty also are included. The methods are based on best practices in building economics and the economics of community resilience planning. The EDGe$ Tool is meant to be practical, flexible, and transparent. The approach can be applied across a wide range of community and project types.

Created December 6, 2017, Updated March 4, 2020