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Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment (2017)

Chapter: 4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System

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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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4

Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System

A disaster-resistant higher education institution recognizes the threats posed by natural and man-made hazards to its campus and mission. It formulates policies, programs, and practices to assess its risk and implements these across all of its teaching, research, and public service activities. The leadership of a higher education institution understands the need to sustain the university’s teaching, research, and public service responsibilities in the face of the damage, repair delays, and financial difficulty that disasters can bring to a community. The goal is to withstand the effects of probable hazard events without unacceptable losses or interruptions; in other words, to be resilient.

FEMA (2003, p. 4)

Academic research institutions are members of a broader community and can draw on important lessons from the efforts of local, state, and federal partners to reduce disaster risks. The federal government promulgated the National Preparedness System which is widely adopted for national and local disaster planning activities (FEMA, 2015). The National Preparedness System outlines an organized process for the whole community to move forward with preparedness activities and integrates efforts across five preparedness areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The planning activities included in the National Preparedness System have evolved over time in response to new knowledge and proven successful procedures, regardless of the cause, size, or complexity of the disaster. From the federal perspective, preparedness activities are aimed at achieving the National Preparedness Goal, which is a fundamental doctrine stating that our entire nation must work together to achieve successful protection from

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

and response to any disruptive event. The National Preparedness Goal, as set forth by Presidential Policy Directive-8 (Obama, 2011), is to form:

A secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk. (FEMA, 2015, p. 1)

The purpose of including a description of the National Preparedness System in this report is to fill an important knowledge gap within academic research institutions. The committee noted that a majority of the planning taking place at the institution—and specifically at the level of the research enterprise—is largely focused on response, overlooking planning in the areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, and recovery (NCCPS, 2016). This is also a common shortcoming of the broader community (Leonard and Howitt, 2010).

This chapter briefly describes community resilience, the National Preparedness System, and the general structure of the planning process. The information in this chapter is intended to provide the foundation needed to develop policies and incentives, define and address gaps and resource solutions, and create regulatory frameworks and policies as necessary. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss how the National Preparedness System can be applied by academic research institutions to enhance resilience and protect their research enterprises.

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

Disagreements exist about how to define resilience; whether resilience is an outcome or a process; what type of resilience is being addressed; and which policy realm it targets (Cutter et al., 2010). In the spirit of aligning this report with national guidelines and current best practices, the committee chose to adopt the definition of resilience provided in the National Research Council report Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative (NRC, 2012) as a starting point for envisioning a resilient academic biomedical research community. That report defined resilience as “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events” (NRC, 2012, p. 16).

Since 2000, the science of resilience has seen significant development as a result of the increasing numbers of disasters and growing interest from policy makers, and it is an ever-evolving concept. Resilience planning is a holistic, all-encompassing approach to planning for dealing with disasters, and it envisions the use of all available resources. Resilience incorporates the idea of sustainability—that action taken now to protect a community

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

maintains and enhances the community’s resources for future generations (Connerly et al., 2017). Measuring and evaluating baseline conditions that lead to community resilience, as well as the factors contributing to adverse impacts and the diminished capacity of a community to respond and recover, provide metrics to set priorities, measure progress, and aid in decision-making processes (Cutter et al., 2010).

A considerable amount of research conducted on resilience has focused on elements that make communities and individuals more resilient (Acosta et al., 2017). Resilience is a long-term commitment that requires every member of the community, from the individual citizen all the way up to the highest-ranking government official, to be willing to accept responsibility and act on it. Additional research has shown that resilience is influenced by the adaptive capacity created, the internal and external relationships fostered and developed, the planning undertaken, and the direction established by its leadership and culture to ensure the organization is change ready (Resilient Organisations, 2012).

At the community level, building resilience capacity must be a combined effort that includes all interest groups, requiring all individuals to be engaged partners. The meaningful partnerships and relationships that flow from the planning process can link the academic research institution with local government, community service organizations, and nearby businesses. These links create a conduit for channeling the local resources that are available in the community to the areas of greatest need during a disaster. The advantage of incorporating the local resources into resilience planning is that those resources are already in the area before a disaster strikes; thus they are immediately available for use. Resilience depends upon unity of effort for success. This concept of unity of effort can also be applied internally within the academic research institution. It is important to seek input and participation from research faculty, staff, and students to ensure their overall understanding of the disaster plans (Dunlop et al., 2011; Kapucu and Khosa, 2012).

The literature also emphasizes the importance of the individual in building resilience (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012; NRC, 2012). Resilience begins with the individuals who work at an academic research institution because they will be the first “boots on the ground” following a disaster as they will already be there. When individual citizens are educated about hazards and they take actions to keep themselves safe during a disaster, they can remain ready to make vital contributions in the larger response efforts that will follow. Boin and McConnell (2007) concluded that an effective response relies on resources that are operating at the local level and that an important resource is the people who reside in the community:

The research on large-scale natural disasters strongly suggests that an effective response during the immediate aftermath (the first hours and days)

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

critically depends on the resilience of citizens, first-line responders, and operational commanders. Only in the long-run (days, weeks, months) can strategic leaders make a tangible difference “on the ground.” (Boin and McConnell, 2007, p. 54)

Proponents of resilience planning state that changes in our current approaches to disaster planning are desirable because it is all too common for plans to fail during a disaster (Boin and McConnell, 2007; Kapucu and Khosa, 2012). Resilience is becoming the de facto framework for enhancing community-level preparedness, response, and recovery (Cutter et al., 2014). Resilience planning considers increasing capacities in numerous dimensions such as human, social, natural, physical, and financial capital (Ungar, 2011). Human capital encompasses the physical and psychological health and social well-being of the community; social capital encompasses participatory decision making, education, and partnerships; natural capital encompasses the resources that the ecosystems can provide; physical capital encompasses the infrastructure and the built environment; and financial capital encompasses the socioeconomic conditions (Acosta et al., 2017). Throughout the report, the committee discusses ways that the academic biomedical research community can enhance its human, social, natural, physical, and financial capital as part of building resilience.

Broadly Examining Resilience at the Institutional Level

The basic concepts of a resilient community can also be applied to academic research institutions. Overall, most institutions are involved in preparing and adopting disaster plans and have departments associated with emergency management and business continuity (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012; Mische and Wilkerson, 2016). However, emergency management at academic research institutions is mainly reactive instead of proactive, and planning efforts are more focused on response than on prevention, protection, mitigation, and recovery (NCCPS, 2016). A 2015 survey of higher education emergency management programs found that while most institutions had an emergency operations plan (EOP), fewer institutions had business continuity and recovery plans. This survey identified a range of plans related to disaster resilience that broadly exist at institutions (NCCPS, 2016) (see Table 4-1).

Foster and Smith (2015) outlined a strategy by which an academic research institution can integrate resilience planning into its master plan for future campus development. Instead of focusing only on the immediate mitigation issues pertaining to short-term safety and security needs and making piecemeal improvements in a few areas, institutional leadership can take a more futuristic view. A comprehensive master plan can be

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

TABLE 4-1 Existence of Plans Among Responding Institutions

Type of Plan % Yes % No % In progress % Don’t know N
Emergency operations/response plan (EOP) 83 1 14 1 427
Hazard identification and risk assessment 65 11 21 3 421
Crisis communication plan 64 12 20 4 428
Strategic plan 53 23 21 3 410
Natural hazard mitigation plan 50 27 16 7 425
Training and exercise plan 45 26 25 3 426
Business continuity plan 36 24 33 7 427
Continuity of operations plan 35 26 34 5 423
Recovery plan 31 32 30 6 425

NOTE: N denotes number of respondents.

SOURCE: NCCPS, 2016.

developed around a vision that outlines where the institution wishes to be in the future; such a vision provides a way to prioritize and implement goals that will ensure the survival and rapid recovery of the entire academic research institution following a disaster. These authors found that institutions that did not have a pre-disaster vision and strategic goals in place had a particularly difficult time when transitioning from disaster response to recovery. This shift toward resilience is similar to the adoption of policies, procedures, and strategies for campus safety and security. Certain events have been very powerful in shaping the laws and policies related to campus safety (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012).

Kapucu and Khosa (2012) found that an increase in resilience and in the level of preparedness at institutions was perceived to be associated with elements such as developing all-hazards comprehensive emergency management plans, providing leadership support, building strong community partnerships, developing strategies and systems to manage emergency information, and providing avenues for trainings and exercises.

Having the necessary staffing for developing and implementing disaster resilience programs is also critical. Research shows a relationship between increased staffing and increased preparedness (NCCPS, 2016). Increasing the number of staff dedicated to disaster resilience often results in better planning, more education and awareness campuswide, better incident management, and better preparation for specific hazards.

An important concept of resilience is that its success depends upon inclusive community efforts. Most academic research institutions have

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

unique and substantial resources on hand that they could contribute to a community-wide response effort. There are published examples of academic research institutions participating in disaster response efforts. For example, following Hurricane Sandy the City University of New York provided emergency shelter for evacuees in its gymnasiums and cafeterias (Aspan, 2013). A comparative study of the participation of academic institutions in response to FEMA-declared disasters caused by ice storms, hurricanes, wildfires, and the disintegration of a space shuttle found that in three of these four major disasters, fewer than 10 percent of unaffected academic institutions participated in their community’s disaster response efforts (Dunlop et al., 2011). Those institutions that did participate in community response had several factors in common:

  • Participating academic institutions had faculty who were viewed as experts, and these experts had coappointments in either public health or emergency management;
  • Academic staff were participants on planning boards of public health and emergency management organizations;
  • Participating institutions maintained an ongoing relationship with community response partners through the combined training of students and staff in areas such as public health or emergency management;
  • The participating institution conducted combined training exercises with response agencies in its community, and academic staff had training in emergency operations procedures and the incident command system (ICS); and
  • There were pre-disaster mutual aid agreements between the institution and local response partners (Dunlop et al., 2011).

So while it appears that academic institutions are capable of contributing substantially to community resilience, it also appears that they are mostly an untapped resource. Many academic institutions do seem poised to significantly increase their community’s surge capacity to respond during a disaster. It is important to note that if an academic research institution is used as a shelter, evacuation center, or first-responder staging area during or after a disaster, security measures are needed to control admittance to research facilities. This issue is further discussed in Chapter 5.

Broadly Examining Resilience at the Research Enterprise Level

Disaster planning at the institutional level often follows a comprehensive approach so that departmental plans are integrated and redundancies and inefficiencies in plans are addressed (Kiefer et al., 2006). Both the

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

mechanisms by which disaster plans are integrated at the departmental level and the role of departments in developing these disaster plans vary among institutions. The impacts described in Chapter 2 demonstrate that the research enterprise is still not adequately protected, and there is increasing recognition that more can be done to protect it. However, there are some academic research institutions across the nation that are developing strategies and policies to strengthen resilience in order to protect their research enterprise, and the committee discusses these strategies and policies in this report (see Figure 4-1). Recognizing that more can be done, in addition to disaster planning, to protect the research enterprise, the committee discusses the importance of capital planning and the built environment (Chapter 8), finances and insurance (Chapter 9), and research sponsors (Chapter 10) in strengthening resilience.

THE NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS SYSTEM

To build on the planning infrastructures and collaborative frameworks that have been provem successful rather than reinventing the wheel, it is important for members of the academic biomedical research community to familiarize themselves with the National Preparedness System (FEMA, 2011). Domestic disaster policy is framed by the National Preparedness System (IOM, 2015). The National Preparedness System outlines an organized process for the whole community, including academic research institutions, to move forward with their preparedness activities and to be prepared for all hazards (FEMA, 2011). The National Preparedness System integrates efforts across five areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery (see Box 4-1). The National Preparedness System describes 32 core capabilities (see Figure 4-2) that entities need to develop in order to achieve the National Preparedness Goal (FEMA, 2015). The five areas aid in organizing preparedness activities and integrate with each other through interdependencies, shared assets, and overlapping objectives. The 32 core capabilities are highly interdependent and applicable to any threat or hazard (FEMA, 2015). These key areas generally align with the three time periods associated with an incident: before, during, and after.

The National Planning Frameworks

The National Planning Frameworks, which are part of the National Preparedness System, set the strategy for achieving the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal (FEMA, 2016d). Each National Planning Framework is an integrated set of guidance, programs, and processes that is geared toward developing and sustaining core capabilities across one of five areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response,

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

INTEGRATION AMONG THE NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORKS

and recovery. Each National Planning Framework provides guidance and a scaffold upon which effective disaster preparedness and response networks can be built. A discussion of these frameworks in the context of academic research institutions will be described further in Chapters 5 and 6.

Integration among the five areas is important to maximize core capabilities and minimize risk (FEMA, 2015). Many of the core capabilities can be linked across areas through shared assets and services. There are three core capabilities that span all five areas: planning, public information and warning, and operational coordination. These common core capabilities

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Image
FIGURE 4-2 Core capabilities by area.
SOURCE: FEMA, 2015.

help to unify the five areas and are essential foundations for the additional core capabilities. These crosscutting core capabilities are broadly discussed below as well as throughout Chapters 5 and 6.

Planning

Planning involves conducting a systematic process in the development and maintenance of multidisciplinary plans (FEMA, 2016e). There are three levels of planning for academic research institutions to consider (FEMA, 2016e):

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
  • Strategic-level plans address the execution of long-term processes for building resilience. Senior leadership at academic research institutions provide policies and directives that drive development strategies. Examples include strategic planning, capital improvement planning, and buildings and infrastructure planning.
  • Operational-level plans provide a description of the roles and responsibilities, tasks, integration, and actions required of individuals and departments during incidents. Examples include institutional emergency operations plans, business continuity plans, and enterprise risk management plans.
  • Tactical-level plans focus on managing resources such as personnel and equipment that play a role in response. Examples include procedural guides or manuals for specific functions.

All planning follows a common planning process—such as the one shown in Figure 4-3 (ED, 2013). The following sections describe the common planning process in the context of a research enterprise planning committee led by the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise.

Form a Collaborative Planning Team—The Research Enterprise Planning Committee

Mitroff et al. (2006) noted the importance of forming a multidepartmental and multidivisional disaster management team that is supported by senior leadership. Fortunately, researchers do not have to plan for disasters alone at their academic research institutions. Many institutions likely already have a disaster planning group in place (Mische and Wilkerson, 2016). Leaders representing the research activities of the institution likely are already active in these processes. The priorities of these groups, however, are often understandably focused on planning for disasters as it relates to managing life safety issues and the maintenance of critical functions of the institution in times of crisis. The disaster resilience of the research enterprise is often eclipsed as a priority.

Following the common planning process described by the Department of Education, a research enterprise planning committee led by the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise should be created at the outset to work with the institution-wide planning committee to assess the unique characteristics of the research enterprise, determine resilience goals and objectives, and develop, implement, and maintain plans (ED, 2013). It is essential that the research enterprise planning committee coordinates with the institution-wide planning committee.

The research enterprise planning committee can follow a collaborative planning process with support from senior leadership within the institution

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

and research enterprise with the goal of customizing planning to the specific type of research facility. The research enterprise planning committee can oversee and routinely evaluate the disaster resilience planning efforts of the research enterprise. The research enterprise planning committee should develop the “family of plans” for the research enterprise—strategic-level, operational-level, and tactical-level plans that encompass the spectrum of prevention, protection, and mitigation actions as well as response and recovery actions (ED, 2013; FEMA, 2011). Examples of planning templates currently in use by academic research institutions to protect their research enterprise are discussed throughout the report.

As part of this collaborative planning process, the research enterprise planning committee should consider identifying and evaluating the type of plans, policies, and procedures that are already in place at that academic research institution and determine the planning gaps at the level of the research enterprise (ED, 2013). There may be unique hazards posed by specialized types of research, and these unique attributes and features of the research enterprise will need to be identified and addressed in the planning process.

It is important for individuals who are the most knowledgeable about the resources (e.g., personnel, equipment, space, and IT systems) required to perform research functions, such as researchers, deans, the vice president of research, and the provost, those who have a personal stake in the outcome and the ability to follow through on a sustained program of planning and implementation, and those involved in disaster planning at the institutional level to actively participate in the research enterprise planning committee. The research enterprise planning committee should consider including members of the institution’s senior leadership because they have the authority to commit the institution’s resources, and they will play a key role in resource allocation following a disaster. For example, the Rockefeller University Comparative Bioscience Center formed a planning committee of veterinarians, managers, and staff involved in daily operations within the animal research facility to establish a specific plan to outline essential services of the animal research department and develop the means to maintain research activities during a pandemic (Roble et al., 2010).

Understand the Situation

To inform both short-term and long-term planning processes, it is important for the research enterprise planning committee to work with other key leaders and the institutional liaison to local, state, and federal agencies and organizations to identify data about local historical threats and hazards. The threat and hazard identification and risk assessment (THIRA) is a common risk assessment process (ED, 2013). For every potential hazard, the research enterprise planning committee should consider the history

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

of occurrences at that institution and specifically its research enterprise and laboratories, as well as at academic research institutions with similar circumstances. Some of the most common types of incidents that laboratories may face are fires, floods, severe weather, seismic activity, extensive absences due to illness, hazardous material spills or releases, high-profile visitors, political or controversial researchers or research, intentional acts of violence or theft, the loss of the electrical grid, the loss of laboratory materials or equipment, the loss of data or computer systems, the loss of mission-critical equipment, and the loss of high-value or difficult-to-replace equipment (NRC, 2011a). For example, due to excessive electricity consumption in New York City during a heat wave in the summer of 1999, power was out for 2 to 3 days. Researchers at Columbia University lost human tissue, enzymes, and cells because there were not sufficient functioning backup generators to keep freezers or incubators` working (UC Berkeley Office of the Vice Provost and Disaster Resistant University Steering Committee, 2000).

Multiple tools and resources are available to help prioritize planning efforts based on identified hazards. Comerio (2003) lays out a method for assessing risks and mitigation hazards specifically in laboratory contents. The Kaiser Permanente hazard vulnerability assessment (HVA) tool is used by academic research institutions to evaluate and weigh the types of hazards, how disruptive an event could be, and how well the institution is prepared to address them (California Hospital Association, 2017). The threats and hazards that are most likely to occur or are of greatest concern are prioritized and compared against the level of response capability that would be necessary to neutralize that threat or hazard. Through this process, areas of vulnerability in the research enterprise are uncovered, and deficiencies in existing response capabilities become apparent. The planning efforts can then be concentrated around high-priority or highly likely threats and hazards. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) evaluated hazard vulnerability assessment tools and developed a comparison chart showing the similarities and differences among five of the primary hazard vulnerability tools used by public health and health care organizations such as THIRA (ASPR TRACIE, 2015).

During this process, the research enterprise planning committee should consider consulting its design professionals, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, information technology, and plumbing engineers. Design professionals understand which hazards they are required to consider, which hazards govern their designs, and the resulting anticipated performance of the built environment in response to those hazards. They also know which design solutions are most tolerant to hazard events that exceed the established

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

levels. Additional information about the role of the built environment is discussed in Chapter 8.

Determine Goals and Objectives

Following the common planning process described by the Department of Education, the research enterprise planning committee should identify goals and objectives that are directly connected to the threats and hazards identified for planning efforts (ED, 2013). For each major problem that is identified, a goal that proposes a solution to that problem could be drafted, and the specific actions necessary to achieve each goal could be identified. Then the specific tasks that are necessary to achieve each goal—called objectives—are identified and listed.

Plan Development

Once goals and objectives have been identified, the research enterprise planning committee develops courses of action so that each objective can be accomplished. It is important for the planning to be all-hazards based. Chapter 2 demonstrated that there are seemingly an unlimited number of incidents and disasters that can occur, many of which will lead to a similar set of problems for the research enterprise. All-hazards plans are flexible, able to be scaled up or down as the size of the incident changes, and can be applied to quickly change the operating picture when a cascading event occurs (FEMA, 2013). As the members of the research enterprise planning committee develop courses of actions, it is important to keep in mind the following concepts (FEMA, 2013):

  • Comprehensive. The institution’s research enterprise is not an isolated, independent entity, but is an essential part of the institution’s disaster planning structure and of the whole community. Planning by a diverse group is a key factor in conveying the expectation of shared responsibility among the participating groups and departments, and it is known to strengthen the motivation to conduct additional planning activities, both within organizations and among individuals.
  • Integration. Integration ensures that all response partners will be able to work together effectively during an incident. It is crucial for the plans of an academic research institution to be integrated into the community’s plans and to be integrated among all participating units and departments within the academic research institution.
  • Risk-driven and progressive. At the outset of the planning process, the wide range of threats and hazards that could reasonably occur
Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
  • both within the academic research institution and within its larger community are discovered. Through the process of prioritizing threats and hazards, estimating vulnerability, and conducting impact assessments, planners can identify problems and areas where supporting resources are likely to be inadequate.

  • Collaboration. Collaboration means that representatives from the academic research institution work to develop their plans in tandem with other important individuals in their community. Collaboration permits responsible individuals from the academic research institution to establish sincere relationships with local emergency response partners such as the fire department, police, emergency medical services personnel, and the local emergency program manager.
  • Coordination. The government, the academic research institution, and all sectors of the community work together to achieve a common set of objectives during planning, response, and recovery from a disaster. Prior experience demonstrates that people work together best when they understand their responsibilities and when they knew each other before they were thrown together in the midst of a crisis.
  • Professional and flexible. Experienced planners understand that the environment surrounding a disaster is both uncertain and fluid. Good planners use logical reasoning and derive their plans from the best available information. Most importantly, information obtained from lessons learned from training exercises that test the current plan can be used to update the plan.

Plan, Preparation, Review, and Approval

Following the common planning process described by the Department of Education, the research enterprise planning committee should work with the institution to draft the plans, review them, obtain institutional approval for implementation, and ensure the plans are integrated with emergency management both within the institution and within local, state, and federal agencies (ED, 2013). At this stage there may be additional planning considerations for the academic research institution because it is required to maintain compliance with applicable federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clery Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (ED, 2013). In academic research institutions that use vertebrate animals in research, compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy is also required. The International Association of Emergency Managers–Universities and Colleges Caucus (IAEM–UCC) created a crosswalk of national standards applicable to institutions (IAEM–UCC, n.d.) A

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

detailed list of policies and regulations for academic research institutions to consider are also included in Appendix C.

Plan Implementation and Maintenance

In order for academic research institutions to adequately implement and execute plans for their research facilities, it is important that staff are trained and the plans exercised. Plans are living documents, and, once completed, plans must be reviewed, practiced, and critiqued by conducting exercises and training at regular intervals. A 2015 survey of higher education emergency management programs found that institutions identified a need to update their existing disaster plans (NCCPS, 2016).

It is important for academic research institutions—and specifically the research enterprise planning committee—to help facilitate trainings and exercises. Trainings and exercises are a core element of every disaster resilience program (NCCPS, 2016). A training and exercise plan can help document an organization’s overall training and exercise priorities for a specific multi-year time period.

Although trainings and exercises must be considered at an organizational level, training for laboratory personnel must also be considered (NRC, 2011b). It is important for laboratory personnel to remain up to date on accreditations, current trends, and trainings. An additional discussion of training specifically for laboratory personnel is included in Chapter 6.

Inviting local, state, and federal agencies to participate in the training and exercises related to the research enterprise can develop invaluable partnerships. Through training and exercises, the academic research institution and external agencies learn what works and what does not and become accustomed to working together. Resource gaps become apparent. By practicing disaster scenarios, participants become familiar with their duties and responsibilities.

Trainings and exercises can be developed and planned according to a cycle that begins with simple, inexpensive discussion-based exercises and works up to operations-based exercises that mimic complicated, realistic scenarios (Ready, 2017):

  • Discussion-based exercises focus on plan development, introductory training of responders, and development or clarification of policies. Examples include seminars, workshops, tabletop exercises, and games.
  • Operations-based exercises are complex training events that bring together all responding entities to test their response abilities dur-
Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
  • ing a realistic, simulated incident. Operations-based exercises include drills, functional drills, and full-scale exercises.

  • Full-scale exercises are comprehensive community-wide tests of the entire emergency response system. To the greatest extent possible, a full-scale exercise mimics the problems and adverse conditions that would occur during a disaster. If an opportunity to participate in a full-scale community exercise is presented to senior leadership at an academic research institution, the leadership would be wise to take advantage of it.

Animal research managers at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center found that during Hurricane Sandy, standard emergency preparations such as discussion-based exercises did not necessarily take into account the exhausted and terrified minds and the tendencies to make poor decisions that are present during a real emergency (Pullium et al., 2014). Therefore, after coping with Hurricane Sandy, the NYU Langone Medical Center animal laboratory team created a training and exercise program based on tactical decision games that simulate stressful and challenging situations that require participants to make choices without full information or a clear correct answer. Below is an excerpt of the training and exercise program.

Our exercises put trainees on their mettle. We allow too little time for people to assess disaster scenarios. Instead of analyzing the situation, we demand that trainees state their next actions; we force them to make decisions on the spot. When a trainee says that he would call for help, we hand over a phone to hear what he would say. Then we ask what he will do when emergency responders or leaders reply that they are not coming. Everyone gets a turn in the “hot seat,” with individuals scrutinized both by the trainer and by their fellow participants. In our classes, distractions such as air horns, darkness, and flashing lights increase stress. People may not enjoy these exercises, but they do see the value. Working through shifting scenarios allows trainees to become confident in their thought processes and abilities. When people are reduced to bumbling responses, this is framed as an area to improve. In our exercises, much as in a real disaster, a right answer is not essential; making a decision is. (Pullium et al., 2014, p. 430)

Donahue and Tuohy (2006) also agree that while the discussion-based exercises commonly employed provide valuable practice with strategic and tactical decision making, they are not realistic enough to test the abilities of the institution and external agencies to coordinate resources and communicate with each other. Minor events, such as broken pipes, can serve as opportunities for research facilities to implement the plan and gauge the

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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response effort (Durkee, 2013). Some might consider such minor events to be inconsequential, but the failure of plans on these smaller scales can help identify weaknesses or problems that could lead to a complete loss and nonrecovery during a larger event. Overall, a well-planned, regularly implemented and updated, and evaluated training and exercise program will ensure that the research enterprise is ready and resilient (Zdziarski et al., 2007).

Many institutions offer collaborative programs that involve academic institutions, local and state governments, agencies, and businesses. The University of South Florida’s Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (PERLC) is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant-funded program that promotes collaboration between institution and local and state partners on the design, development, and delivery of local preparedness training programs. Participants have the opportunity to share lessons learned, best practices, and training plans, products, and materials within the PERLC network and with stakeholders and partners representing states, localities, territories, tribal public health authorities, and other academic institutions and applicable training centers. This type of training environment touches on the pre-disaster network building that needs to be established prior to a disaster. Encouraging researchers to attend training and workshops focused on disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery will increase the academic research institution’s awareness of the necessary tools and strategies used in preparation for a disaster, while also building the necessary partnerships with local and state agencies, businesses, and other academic research institutions.

In addition to trainings and exercises, it is important for individuals at the academic research institution—and specifically those involved in the research enterprise planning committee—to have a sense of empowerment and undertake personal preparedness actions both at home and in their laboratory. The “ripple effect” of individual preparation is important because it minimizes the negative impacts of a disaster at the academic research institution. If a disaster strikes and researchers remain uninjured and if they have no devastating losses in their personal lives, they are poised to contribute to any response and recovery activities that are necessary. Examples of pre-disaster home preparation activities are outlined on the ready.gov website (Ready, 2017). Examples include preparing a personal family communication plan, gathering supplies to make a home disaster survival kit, and reinforcing the features of the home that are susceptible to damage. Additional information on trainings and exercises is discussed in Chapter 6.

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Public Information and Warning

Public information and warning is a crosscutting capability across all areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. It is defined by FEMA as the ability to

deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available. (FEMA, 2016c, p. 22)

The research enterprise planning committee and its institutional partners should consider establishing and identifying communication methodologies to engage students, staff, faculty, alumni, and families of the institution as well as the members of the broader community, while being cognizant that different populations will be reached using different types of media and methods of communication. The Clery Act1 specifically requires higher education institutions to disclose campus security policies and to disclose statistics for the following: murder, sexual offenses, robbery, assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, manslaughter, arson, and other crimes, including those related to drug and weapon possession. Additional relevant laws, regulations, and standards are listed in Appendix C. These communication methodologies can be captured in a crisis communication plan.

The objectives of this broad communication effort are multiple. It is a means to inform the community about pending threats and provide instruction that can provide information to all members of the community about how best to protect themselves and their property. As previously mentioned, when individual citizens (i.e., employees of academic research institutions) are educated about hazards and take actions to keep themselves safe during a disruptive event, they remain ready to make vital contributions in the disaster response.

By engaging in outreach and education, academic institutions can mitigate risk through a sharing of information that facilitates risk-informed decision making (FEMA, 2016c). Communication encourages the development of a resilient community by facilitating public awareness campaigns; employing use of social media, websites, and smartphone applications; and using incidents in other communities to increase awareness and influence mitigation activity locally, in a broad effort to create behavior change and promote a culture of resilience.

___________________

1 Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990, P.L. 101-542.

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

During an incident, the academic institution can provide an account of its efforts to effectively respond to the crisis, apprise the community of any associated health risks, and concisely communicate other protective measures as needed. It is important for the messaging to be congruent with messages being delivered by other sources both public and private. Effective public information and warning is particularly important in dealing with incidents that start small but may evolve to have greater consequences (FEMA, 2016a,h).

In the recovery phase, public information messaging helps manage expectations about the tempo of recovery through communications that are clear, accurate, and transparent (FEMA, 2016a). These communications also help community members understand their own roles and responsibilities throughout the recovery process.

Challenges with the communication infrastructure are to be expected during any disaster, and this is discussed further in Chapter 6. A key principle in any plan is redundancy of every element and function within the unit (Andersson et al., 2011).

Operational Coordination

Following the issuance of Presidential Directive 5, which established a single, comprehensive national incident management system, academic research institutions seeking federal funding for preparedness activities were required to adopt approaches to planning that were based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) (Mische and Wilkerson, 2016). NIMS is a set of concepts, operational principles, terminology, and organizational structure that enable the effective, efficient, and collaborative management of any incident, regardless of size or complexity (FEMA, 2016b). NIMS, which is widely adopted nationwide, enhances the ability to accomplish the goals outlined in the National Preparedness System. The major components of NIMS work together to accomplish important functions, such as preparedness, communications, and information management during an incident and directing the flow of resources during or following an incident. The research enterprise planning committee can work with the institution to establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process to integrate all stakeholders and support the execution of the core capabilities for the research enterprise (FEMA, 2016b). This capability enables senior leaders to determine appropriate courses of action. Structuring plans according to the principles and practices outlined in NIMS will facilitate correct communication between academic research institutions and outside responding agencies following an incident.

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

Without building resilience, the academic research institution could witness significant and enduring losses that will hinder the quality of education and research, thereby threatening sustainability (Connerly et al., 2017). These impacts can be reduced through resilience planning and prudent investment in risk mitigation (Foster and Smith, 2015). For academic research institutions that deal with the daily struggles of allocating their limited financial resources to maintain their existing research and educational missions, the complex path to building resilience may seem like an impossible mountain to climb. However, it is important that academic research institutions develop and promote a strategy for disaster resilience for their research enterprise because the failure to consider a comprehensive approach is likely to undermine their long-term viability and may, in fact, ultimately determine whether or not they will even survive following a disaster.

Conclusion: By identifying and assessing risks to their research enterprise, academic research institutions can make active decisions to avoid, transfer, mitigate, or accept these risks. Academic research institutions can vary in their definition of acceptable losses and interruption to their research enterprise because these decisions depend upon a number of factors including the community, the nature of the hazard, and the available resources.

Planning is an institution-wide process that requires the full endorsement of the senior leadership at the academic research institution, the authority to establish resilience priorities, and the necessary financial support; the creation of the plans requires the full engagement of the various members of the research enterprise, who have a detailed understanding of the research practices, to develop, maintain, and test the plans. For example, animal care and use programs have established institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs) or an institutional equivalent, which work with the institutional official. An IACUC is responsible for assessment and oversight of animal research-related components and facilities and has sufficient authority and resources to fulfill this responsibility (NRC, 2011a). In following a similar mechanism, the committee concludes that the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise should be tasked with leading a research enterprise planning committee in coordination with the academic research institution. It is important for the roles of the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise and the research enterprise planning committee to fit in a defined organizational structure where the reporting authorities and responsibilities are defined and transparent. In this way, executive leadership and the research enterprise share accountability.

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

Conclusion: A considerable amount of research conducted on resilience has focused on elements that make communities and individuals more resilient. Resilience is a long-term commitment that requires every member of the community to be willing to accept responsibility and act on it. Therefore, all levels of the academic research institution have a role in strengthening the resilience of its research enterprise, and the research enterprise is best protected if both researchers and senior leadership champion and participate in the planning process.

The committee noted that a majority of the planning taking place at institutions, and specifically at the level of the research enterprise, is focused on response and overlooks planning in the areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, and recovery (NCCPS, 2016). This is also a common pitfall of the broader community (Leonard and Howitt, 2010). In order for academic research institutions to adequately implement and execute plans for their research facilities, it is important that staff are trained and the plans exercised. Plans are living documents, and, once completed, they must be reviewed, practiced, and critiqued by conducting exercises and training at regular intervals.

Conclusion: Trainings and exercises are a core element of every disaster resilience program. Developing a research enterprise–specific training and exercise plan to document overall training and exercise priorities for a specific multiyear time period can contribute to strengthening disaster resilience.

The experiences of disaster-affected academic research institutions that have been described in Chapter 2 reflect the need for better overall planning specifically for the research enterprise in all five of the mission areas outlined in the National Preparedness System: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The standardized approaches, processes, and terminology outlined by FEMA may be unfamiliar to leaders of the research enterprises and may be confusing; however, their adoption is imperative, as the disaster resilience of academic research institutions and their research enterprises is closely tied to the resilience of the broader community. As an example, the response to any significant disaster at a research laboratory will likely involve first responders from community agencies (ED, 2013). When a disaster occurs, academic research institution staff, community emergency responders, and key stakeholders must interact efficiently to provide a timely, coordinated, and cohesive response.

This alignment, timely communication, and cohesion can be effectively achieved if academic research institutions adopt the standardized emergency management principles and practices that are commonly used by all

Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

of the other responding agencies and if they engage in an organized disaster planning process as a part of the whole community’s effort to move forward with preparedness activities. These duties could be included in job descriptions specifically for positions in the research enterprise.

Implement Comprehensive and Integrative Disaster Resilience Planning Efforts for the Research Enterprise

RECOMMENDATION 2: Academic research institutions should implement comprehensive and integrative disaster resilience planning efforts for their research enterprise that are aligned with planning at the local, state, and national levels (the National Preparedness System). The fundamental goal of these efforts should be to protect human life, research animals, and property and the environment and to maintain the integrity and continuity of the research.

Possible actions could include, but are not limited to

  • Identifying dedicated resources and individuals with the authority to oversee the development and execution of disaster resilience planning.
  • Developing and implementing policies, plans, and procedures related to disaster resilience.
  • Compiling up-to-date threat and hazard identification and risk assessments based upon the local and regional hazards that are relevant to the academic research institution and specifically the research enterprise.
  • Determining which research programs and research functions are critical for the continuing viability of the academic research institution and the safety of the community. Research programs should be prioritized, and the necessary resources to safeguard and support these programs should be identified and acquired.
  • Engaging principal investigators in the disaster resilience planning for their research program and laboratories.
  • Developing a training and exercise plan to document overall training and exercise priorities for a specific multiyear time period.

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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Foundations in Community Resilience and the National Preparedness System." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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The academic biomedical research community is a hub of employment, economic productivity, and scientific progress. Academic research institutions are drivers of economic development in their local and state economies and, by extension, the national economy. Beyond the economic input that the academic biomedical research community both receives and provides, it generates knowledge that in turn affects society in myriad ways.

The United States has experienced and continues to face the threat of disasters, and, like all entities, the academic biomedical research community can be affected. Recent disasters, from hurricanes to cyber-attacks, and their consequences have shown that the investments of the federal government and of the many other entities that sponsor academic research are not uniformly secure. First and foremost, events that damage biomedical laboratories and the institutions that house them can have impacts on the safety and well-being of humans and research animals. Furthermore, disasters can affect career trajectories, scientific progress, and financial stability at the individual and institutional levels.

Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community offers recommendations and guidance to enhance the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community, with a special focus on the potential actions researchers, academic research institutions, and research sponsors can take to mitigate the impact of future disasters.

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