use data, employ metrics, and implement approaches to help increase resilience. Chapter 8 provides the report’s findings and recommendations.
Building and sustaining resilience is everyone’s business. Yet, major social and cultural shifts in governance, civility, and trust in institutions such as government, the mass media, and science create barriers that have to be overcome for the nation to move forward. The federal government has already begun a campaign to improve national resilience. PPD-8 states that, “The Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness, including public outreach and community-based and private-sector programs to enhance national resilience, the provision of Federal financial assistance, preparedness efforts by the Federal Government, and national research and development efforts” (White House and DHS, 2011). True national resilience will integrate these federal efforts with complementary efforts by state and local government, the private sector, and communities at all scales (see Chapter 6 for further discussion of PPD-8).
Inherent in building the culture of resilience is the ability to incorporate scientific information, data, and observing systems to ensure the availability of reliable information, decision support tools, and data sources to decision makers. Enhancing resilience is achieved through vigorous scientific, technical, and engineering research that enables improved forecasting, better risk and disaster management, the development of metrics for assessing progress toward increased resilience, advances in understanding community dynamics, advances in understanding the economics of insurance and disasters, and improved analysis of the legal and social forces at work in communities. Research is essential to building more resilient communities, and research challenges and needs to improve disaster resilience are presented throughout the report.
The report weaves together different kinds of data and experiences from across the nation, including the committee’s visits and workshops in the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coasts; Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa; and Southern California (Appendix B). These examples are used to demonstrate ways in which research in physical and social sciences, engineering, and public health have been tested by the experiences of communities and governing bodies (see also NRC, 2011).
The committee also sought public input through the use of a questionnaire made available through listservs and on the study’s Web page.6 In soliciting information on local opinions across the nation on how resilient their communities are, the committee received both identified and anonymous responses. The quotations that start each chapter are an effort to capture just some of the direct, relevant input the committee received from the wide range of contributors to the study from across the nation. The committee felt that these voices, whether or not they were identified by name, provided thoughtful