and networks of a community, and to gain support from those with the ability to weave the resilience agenda into these existing coalitions. Another group that has typically been overlooked is the group of land-grant universities, whose original mission is based on information outreach into communities. These land-grant universities along with other non-land-grant universities can serve as a powerful mechanism for organizing and disseminating efforts to build resilience, some participants noted. Establishing the role of state and federal government is also needed. Several participants described the ability of the federal government to build capacity with small amounts of funding and to play a large role immediately after a disaster event. However, the federal government might best be viewed as having a supportive role in providing mentorship and guidance to communities, because establishing resilience at the local and state levels is critical.

Many participants emphasized that community leaders need to be engaged in both short- and long-term planning efforts. The community should inform the coalitions of their needs, and efforts like developing and implementing a national resilience scorecard would need to include community engagement.

One particular organizational challenge to overcome as coalitions rally around resilience might be the issue of learning how to work across organizational silos. For example, churches have established mechanisms for helping each other, but may not have such established relationships with other groups.


National Academies. 2012. Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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