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Community resilience

Recent floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes remind us that natural, technological and human-caused hazards take a high toll on communities and the impacts can last long past the event. Better resilience planning can improve a community’s quality of life, its ability to recover rapidly and to build back better, and make the community more attractive to residents and businesses. Resilience planning begins with understanding the long-term plans of the

Community resilience is the ability to prepare for anticipated hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. Activities, such as disaster preparedness—which includes prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery—are key steps to resilience. 

NIST manages a multi-faceted program, assisting communities and stakeholders on issues related to buildings and the interdependencies of physical infrastructure systems. The Community Resilience Program, part of NIST's broader disaster resilience work, complements efforts by others in the public and private sectors. NIST focuses on research, community planning and guidance and stakeholder engagement.

Building Codes, Planning Key to Community Resilience (blog post)

Photo of a home being raised in Seaford, NY, after Hurricane Sandy
Credit: Howard Greenblatt/FEMA

“Buildings built to the most modern building codes were the safest places to be during Hurricane Sandy.” Having spent most of my life in code enforcement, I’ve known this to be fact and have seen the evidence with my own eyes. But hearing New York City Chief Resilience Officer Daniel Zarrilli say it on stage at the White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes [in May 2016] after the death and destruction wrought on the Northeast during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 brought back so many memories and reminded me why the International Code Council’s motto and mission is: “People Helping People Build a Safer World.” Read more of this guest blog post by Dominic Sims, CEO, International Code Council.

News and Updates

Industry Impacts


Critical Path Method Assessment of Community Recovery

Francis M. Lavelle, Charles Goodhue, Douglas Lyons
The critical path method (CPM) is investigated as a tool for identifying recovery activities that control the timeline for restoration of key community

Quantifying Macroeconomic Resilience Dividends in Cedar Rapids

Juan F. Fung, Jennifer F. Helgeson, Cheyney M. O'Fallon, David H. Webb, Harvey Cutler
Cedar Rapids, Iowa offers a unique case study in planning for increased resilience. In 2008, Cedar Rapids experienced severe flooding. Rather than simply