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The mission of the Resilience Collaboratory is to find solutions associated with dynamic adaption of social ecologies to global change, societal challenges and social disruption.


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Resilience on the Fly: Christchurch’s SCIRT Offers a Model for Rebuilding After a Disaster

submitted by Samuel Bendett - by David Killick - August 15, 2014

You do not see it, but you certainly know when it is not there: infrastructure, the miles of underground pipes carrying drinking water, stormwater and wastewater, utilities such as gas and electricity, and fiber-optics and communications cables that spread likes veins and arteries under the streets of a city.

That calamity hit Christchurch, New Zealand, in a series of earthquakes that devastated the city in 2010 and 2011.

The organization created to manage Christchurch’s infrastructure rebuild – it is called SCIRT, for Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team— has a vital role, and it has become something of a global model for how to put the guts of a city back together again quickly and efficiently after a disaster.



Public-Private Action on Resilience Is Needed — Now

submitted by Samuel Bendett


Damage from Hurricane Sandy along the New Jersey coast. Greg Thompson/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Why not exercise plans with recovery or restoration in mind? - by Jim Mullen - July 22, 2014

The statement that investments in resilience pay huge dividends when disaster strikes rings true, but the conversation can’t end there. . .

. . . After a major event, the priority inevitably becomes getting people back home, rebuilding and healing. No one really wants to have an in-depth discussion about the feasibility of reoccupying or rebuilding. People want to go home again if they can, as quickly as possible, and resume life as they once knew it. Environmental concerns often pale in the face of a need for communities to rebuild and reconstitute themselves. In New Jersey and Louisiana, and almost any other place where risks have caught up with development decisions, recovery planning began too late, after the event has done its worst.

We know that government leaders, after the first few days or weeks, will appoint someone to lead a redevelopment/recovery task force, particularly if criticism about the pace of the recovery grows.

Why not do it now?

President Obama Launches Climate Tools Including 3-D Maps - by Wendy Koch - July 16, 2014

As part of his plan to help U.S. communities prepare for climate change, President Obama is unveiling initiatives Wednesday that include 3-dimensional mapping to better identify flood risks, landslide hazards and coastal erosion. . .

. . . The U.S. Geological Survey is launching a $13 million 3-D Elevation Program to develop advanced mapping that it says could, among other things, make it quicker to update flood maps and easier to find ideal sites for wind turbines and solar panels. It's relying on lidar (light detection and ranging) technology that uses light from lasers to give the elevation of any spot — from the tree tops to the ground.


There Are No Victims Here: Creating an Empowered Survivor Culture

submitted by Samuel Bendett


Emergency managers need to train, encourage and empower public partners to become their own heroes. 
Flickr/Joe Loong - by Charisma Williams - July 15, 2014

“Be your own hero.” The words hit me like a bolt of lightning (I’ll explain why later). . .

. . . Too often the public has to be “humbled” by a tragic or devastating event before many people start to see the validity in the safety and preparedness measures that those of us in the emergency management/preparedness community work so hard to promote both in our professional and personal lives. However, once they do, it is our job to use these events to help foster the safety culture we strive for daily.


Obama Administration Announces New Hazard Resiliency Grant Competition

submitted by John Patten   - June 25, 2014

At a commencement speech at the University of California at Irvine, President Obama announced a new $1 billion investment into disaster resiliency for state, local, and tribal communities. The investment, known as The National Disaster Resilience Competition, is part of Obama’s action plan to combat climate change and extreme weather events.

Built largely on the Rebuild by Design program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Disaster Resilience Competition will exclusively assist areas previously hit by a natural disaster by providing grants for recovery and resilience projects.


Denton, Texas Considers Fracking Ban, Hopes To Attract Sriracha Factory

submitted by Margery Schab


Natural gas well holding tanks sit next to a subdivision of homes in Denton, Texas, Thursday, May 29, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero) | ASSOCIATED PRESS - by Emily Schmall - June 19, 2014

. . . For more than a decade, Denton has drawn its lifeblood from the huge gas reserves that lie beneath its streets. The gas fields have produced a billion dollars in mineral wealth and pumped more than $30 million into city bank accounts.

But this former farming center north of Dallas is considering a revolt. Unlike other communities that have embraced the lucrative drilling boom made possible by hydraulic fracturing, leaders here have temporarily halted all fracking as they consider an ordinance that could make theirs the first city in the state to permanently ban the practice.


U.S. Resilience Project - Priorities for America’s Preparedness: Best Practices from the Private Sector - October 31, 2011

U.S. Resilience Project (USRP) reports are designed to showcase how public policy can benefit from private-sector best practices in security, business continuity, risk management, and disaster preparedness.

Harness the Power of Intelligent Networks and Social Media

The focus for national preparedness should be on creating situational awareness, enhanced decision-making and rapid response; Platforms like the U.S. Resilience System, that are based upon distributed intelligent social networks and crowd-sourcing, can enable far more agility and adaptability than a highly structured, hierarchical capability with significantly better outcomes at far less cost. Exploiting U.S. leadership in this area has the potential to create significant engagement in preparedness, disaster response, and regional resilience building.

Department of Homeland Security - The Resilient Social Network: @OccupySandy #SuperstormSandy

Prepared by the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute (HSSAI) for the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, September 30, 2013

CLICK HERE - The Resilient Social Network: @OccupySandy #SuperstormSandy (103 page .PDF report)


The Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute (HSSAI) would like to acknowledge the numerous individuals from government, the private sector, the not-for-profit sector, and the Occupy Sandy volunteers who generously granted time for interviews.

Particularly, HSSAI would like to thank Dr. Michael McDonald, Megan Fliegelman, Meghan Dunn, and Jill Cornell for providing points of contact and documentation. They greatly assisted the task team in the development of its research and analysis.

HSSAI would further like to acknowledge COL Terry Ebbert, USMC (Ret.), the former director of homeland security for the City of New Orleans and currently a distinguished visiting fellow at HSSAI, for providing a critical review of this case study.

Comprehensive Community Bio-Event Resilience Action Plan for the Puget Sound Region


Recognizing that private industry, businesses, and other non-governmental organizations constitute integral and essential components of every region, PNWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region) acknowledges the need to coordinate for a bio-event across the healthcare sector and other organizations with roles in emergency management. This includes work in partnership with the private sector and other key regional stakeholders. Through this understanding, PNWER has led and participated in a number of pandemic and bio-event resilience initiatives.

CLICK HERE - for additional information

CLICK HERE - CCBER Final Report - 2010 -
Comprehensive Community Bio-Event Resilience Action Plan for the Puget Sound Region (170 page .PDF report)

Webinar - Resilience & Resilience Systems - Considerations for NYC Coastal Communities - April 4, 2014

Webinar - Community Resilience and Impacts of Interdependent Infrastructure Disruptions as Experienced from Hurricane Sandy (One hour long)

Presented By: 
Michael D. McDonald, Dr.P.H.
Chairman, Global Resilience Inititatives
Executive Director, Health Initiatives Foundation, Inc. 

Facilitated By:
John T. Hoffman, Col., USA, Ret.
Senior Research Fellow, National Center for Food Protection and Defense

Under the dynamic conditions of rapid climate change and broader global changes, resilience and sustainability are not being achieved through traditional emergency management and humanitarian approaches alone. While community-based resilience networks are now beginning to emerge in a race to stabilize New York City's coastal communities significantly impacted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, many impacted neighborhoods are still trending toward greater vulnerability plaguing recovery and preparedness for the next wave of potentially larger storms.


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