communities within their borders in a variety of ways, and most states, in turn, give local counties, cities, and municipalities limited authority through the so-called Dillon Rule (Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, 2011), or broader authorities (“home rule”) through their constitution or legislation.16 Explicit coordination of disaster resilience planning and actions at the state level is not common across the United States, although a few states have begun to adopt specific approaches and establish offices to address the issue (Box 6.5). Home rule gives local communities broad authority to enact their own laws within the bounds of state and federal constitutions. The extent of local authority and how it is exercised is the subject of much debate and legal process, but most cities and towns have at least some authority to formulate community development plans and land-use plans, to institute zoning laws, to adopt and enforce building codes, and to pursue other measures to suit the resilience needs of their own community. Community leaders and elected officials, with the help and support of the public, local businesses and utilities, nongovernmental organizations, and perhaps with state and federal government assistance, will largely determine whether their community resilience increases, stays the same, or decreases.
Coordination of Resilience at the State Level
Following the Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s service as chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council’s Community Resilience Task Force and experiences gained during Hurricane Irene, which cut a swath across the state, he established the Office of Resilience within the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The office was assigned the mission of bringing together the focused efforts of the state, the business sector, communities, nongovernmental agencies and other partners including faith-based groups and other volunteer organizations to deal with resilience development across the state.
The new office is developing a network for effective engagement in all areas of emergency management among the private- and public-sector entities, vulnerable populations, and relevant regional groups. They are carrying this out through aggressive outreach, education, planning and training efforts, and information sharing and needs identification. Much was learned from predisaster planned beneficial partnerships that were exercised following Hurricane Irene that were able to bring together the support of big box stores, supply chain facilitation in the food sector, and state efforts to limit impediments to interstate commerce by avoiding such things as hours-of-service limitations and road closures. The Executive Director of MEMA sees the new office as essential to