Contact Us  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Resilient America
Office of Special Projects
Policy and Global Affairs
Home Who We Are What We Do News Events Resources Subscribe

logo 400px

The logo 140px Roundtable and its programs aim to help communities and the nation 
build resilience to extreme events, save lives, and reduce the physical and economic costs of disasters.


Charleston, South Carolina

ResilientAmerica welcomed Charleston as its second pilot community in 2014. Charleston, a vibrant, historic city, is addressing persistent flooding events, storm surge, and hurricanes and their impacts on the community. The City of Charleston has focused on flood resilience in recent years. A volunteer group of individuals representing public and private sector organizations created the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) which is working to build resilience in the community by sharing information, connecting partners, and creating a unified strategy. The CRN has been ResilientAmerica's primary partner in Charleston. In December 2015, the city identified sea level rise as a top priority in its first Sea Level Rise Strategy. Finally, in early 2017, Charleston created and hired a chief resilience officer for the city. 

Timeline of ResilientAmerica activities with the Charleston pilot community:

  • October 2014:  Kickoff meeting
  • February 2015:  ResilientAmerica met with the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) and other Charleston stakeholders to discuss goals, strategic direction, and short-, mid-, and long-term objectives in the region.
  • April 2015:  ResilientAmerica organized and facilitated the Community Resilience Workshop.
  • April 2015:  ResilientAmerica facilitated the role-playing Extreme Events game in Charleston. About 60 stakeholders from the region participated!
  • June 2015:  Meeting with the CRN.
  • December 2015:  Meeting with local stakeholders to introduce the ResilientAmerica program to new audiences and to build new relationships.
  • February 2015:  ResilientAmerica partnered with the CRN to host the symposium, "Understanding the October 2015 Charleston Floods."
  • May 2016:  Meeting with the CRN to discuss the implementation of the Zurich Flood Resilience Measurement framework in Charleston.
  • July 2016:  ResilientAmerica implemented the Zurich Flood Resilience Measurement framework to measure Charleston's baseline flood resilience, collecting data from stakeholders with expertise in public health, disaster preparedness and response, and the natural environment.
  • September 2016:  ResilientAmerica continued the data collection effort to measure Charleston's baseline flood resilience, collecting data from stakeholders from the business community and academia, and from local community groups.
  • November 2016:  ResilientAmerica met with the CRN to talk about the impacts of Hurricane Matthew on the community.
  • March 2017:  ResilientAmerica met with the CRN to review the data collected using the Zurich Flood Resilience Measurement framework and assess Charleston's baseline flood resilience.
  • April 2017:  ResilientAmerica met with local stakeholders to discuss resilience initiatives in the county.
  • May 2017:  ResilientAmerica met with the CRN to review the results of the baseline flood resilience assessment including the common themes that emerged from the assessment, the community's successes and challenges related to flood resilience, and potential opportunities and solutions for building or enhancing flood resilience in the community.
  • November 2017:  Following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, ResilientAmerica implemented the Zurich Flood Resilience Measurement framework in Charleston to better understand the community's preparedness, response, and recovery. ResilientAmerica met with stakeholders with expertise in preparedness and response, the natural environment, academia, faith-based communities, and public health as well as held meetings with local community groups.
  • December 2017:  ResilientAmerica continued the data collection effort, meeting with stakeholders from the business and development communities and held meetings with local community groups.
  • February 2018:  ResilientAmerica met with the CRN to review the data collected in November and December 2017 using the Zurich Flood Resilience Measurement framework.

The highest priority risks and hazards faced in Charleston County include:

  • Hurricane
  • Flooding
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • Hazardous material incidents
  • Terrorism
  • Winter storms
  • Drought

A range of community stakeholders in the Charleston County region have partnered or have participated in events with ResilientAmerica to build resilience:

American Red Cross of Lowcountry South Carolina
Argonne National Laboratory
Bank of America
BCD Council of Governments
Berkeley County
Berkeley Electric Cooperative
Charleston County
Charleston Housing Authority
Charleston Water Systems
Circular Congregational church
City Council Sustainability Advisory Committee
City of Charleston
City of North Charleston
City of Savannah
College of Charleston
CSX Railroad
Daimler Vans Manufacturing
Department of Homeland Security
Dorchester County
League of Women Voters
Medical University of South Carolina
National American Red Cross
Nature Conservancy
Palmetto Railways
Roche Carolina Pharmaceuticals
SC Sea Grant Consortium
SA Norfolk Southern Railways
SC American Planning Association
SC Coastal Conservation League
SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
SC Department of Natural Resources SCANA Corporation
Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Southern Environmental Law Center
SC Department of Transportation
SC Electric & Gas
SC Law Enforcement Division
SC Ports Authority
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Town of Awendaw
TriCounty Link
United Way
US Coast Guard
Wells Fargo

Learn more about the Charleston Country Region:

City of Charleston
City Awards
Visit Charleston
City V Century Plan
Port of Charleston
Historic Charleston Foundation

Earthquake of 1886
Hurricane Hugo, September 21-22, 1989
Hurricane Floyd, September 15, 1999

Charleston Sea Level Rise Strategy, December 2015
Charleston County
Charleston County Comprehensive Plan
Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan
MyCoast: South Carolina
2015 Regional Economic Scorecard

South Carlin Action Plan for Disaster Recovery, July 2016
A Post-Event Review of the October 2015 Floods in South Carolina:  A Deep Dive into the Columbia and Charleston Event, by Zurich Insurance Group Ltd and ISET-International, June 2016


This website contains unedited papers by individuals and is not an official report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Opinions and statements included in this material are solely those of the individual authors. They have not been verified as accurate, nor do they necessarily represent the views of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

 Resilient America Roundtable | 500 Fifth St. NW | Washington, DC 20001 |