networks to carry out activities that are deemed necessary, regardless of whether such activities are specified in plans. The committee cautions, however, that whatever role a collaborative network serves in the community, it should be consistent with and supportive of the legal authority of emergency management agencies.

As described in Partnerships for Emergency Preparedness: Developing Partnerships (LLIS, 2006), many communities’ public-safety and private-sector entities have conducted planning and preparedness operations largely independent of one another. Few fully understand or appreciate the others’ roles in emergency prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Public-safety agencies often underestimate the private sector’s interest and involvement in emergency-preparedness efforts. Private-sector groups overestimate the capabilities of government and fail to recognize the need for their own contributions to an incident response. In addition, the private sector often perceives cooperation with government agencies as risky because of the government’s role in regulating their industries, concern about the protection of proprietary information, and the potential of legal liability.

It can be challenging to motivate private and public sectors to participate in resilience-focused collaboration that emphasizes a comprehensive management approach. How are organizations encouraged to plan for disaster mitigation and preparation, as well as response and recovery? How are organizations encouraged to do this collaboratively with others in their community? The committee describes engagement at the community level in the first major section of this chapter. In it, the importance of acknowledging local networks and network diversity are discussed, as are the importance of engaging needed expertise—either locally or further afield—and following evidence-based principles of emergency management. The second major section explores structure and process in resilience-related activities, including the importance of a coordinating function and multilevel relationships. The third major section of the chapter discusses practical application of the conceptual model discussed in Chapter 2. The final section of this chapter provides the committee’s overarching guidelines designed to address community-level private–public collaboration for enhancing disaster resilience.


Just as there is no clear federal coordination or national strategy for climate adaptation (NRC, 2010a), there is no national strategy for building community disaster resilience. That 2010 NRC report on climate change concludes that there is a need for a national strategy for climate adaptation, and that the strategy would benefit from “a ‘bottom-up’ approach that builds on and supports existing efforts and experiences” at the state and local levels, including private–public collaboration.

This report does not address all components of a national resilience strategy, but the committee recognizes that with or without a national strategy, there is a need for community-level resilience. Achieving resilience at the state or national levels begins with resilience-

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