Advancing resilience is a long-term process, but can be coordinated around visible, short-term goals that allow individuals and organizations to measure or mark their progress toward becoming resilient and overcoming these gaps. However, as a necessary first step to strengthen the nation’s resilience and provide the leadership to establish a national “culture of resilience,” a full and clear commitment to disaster resilience by the federal government is essential.


No single sector or entity has ultimate responsibility for improving national resilience. No specific federal agency has all of the authority or responsibility, all of the appropriate skill sets, or adequate fiscal resources to address this growing challenge. An important responsibility for increasing national resilience lies with residents and their communities. Input, guidance, and commitment from all levels of government and from the private sector, academia, and community-based and nongovernmental organizations are needed throughout the entire process of building more resilient communities. The report frames six recommendations (Box S-1) that can help guide the nation in advancing collective, resilience-enhancing efforts in the coming decades.

Summary Recommendations

Recommendation 1: Federal government agencies should incorporate national resilience as a guiding principle to inform the mission and actions of the federal government and the programs it supports at all levels.

Recommendation 2: The public and private sectors in a community should work cooperatively to encourage commitment to and investment in a risk management strategy that includes complementary structural and nonstructural risk-reduction and risk-spreading measures or tools. Such tools might include an essential framework (codes, standards, and guidelines) that drives the critical structural functions of resilience and investment in risk-based pricing of insurance.

Recommendation 3: A national resource of disaster-related data should be established that documents injuries, loss of life, property loss, and impacts on economic activity. Such a database will support efforts to develop more quantitative risk models and better understand structural and social vulnerability to disasters.

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