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The logo 140px Roundtable and its programs aim to help communities and the nation 
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Measuring Flood Resilience Webinar

August 31, 2016

As part of its measures of resilience work, the ResilientAmerica program is implementing a Flood Resilience Measurement Framework developed by the Z Zurich Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Charleston, South Carolina. The National Academies of Sciences is one of a handful of organizations testing the beta version of this framework. The ultimate goal of this effort is to develop a streamlined, empirically validated flood resilience measurement framework that could be used by communities around the world to measure their resilience to floods. 

During the webinar, ResilientAmerica staff provided an overview of the Flood Resilience Measurement Framework and the ResilientAmerica Roundtable’s experiences implementing the framework in Iowa and South Carolina. Roundtable member, Dr. Quintus Jett, then led a discussion about resilience measures, focusing on several key questions. Webinar attendees provided insightful observations and comments about community resilience.

Are you a resilient community? Why or why not? How are you resilient?

  • A key aspect of resilience is that it is built before a disaster occurs. Resilience requires pre-existing relationships and excellent communication among stakeholders. 
  • It is important to engage regularly with the public rather than just during a disaster. Stakeholders across community sectors must collaborate to foster awareness and preparedness among the public.
  • The momentum for building resilience following a disaster tends to fade with time. Communities must make a conscious effort to maintain this momentum. 
  • One of the best ways to build overall community resilience is to encourage individual level resilience.

What would you like to measure in your community?

  • Communities would like to know more about their local government.  For example, how financially robust and prepared are they for a major disaster?
  • How do you measure the level of trust the public and local government?
  • What are peoples’ perceptions of risk to different hazards?
  • How can communities better measure the connectivity between and within critical natural environments and ecosystems?

What do you believe your community needs to better effectively measure resilience?

  • Pre-existing relationships among organizations in the community are important.
  • Communities need a clearer idea of who is involved during a disaster. 
  • Communities need better ways to identify and measure the resilience of vulnerable populations.

Final thoughts

  • Instead of a decontextualized resilience ranking system and score, resilience measurement methods should be thought of as tools to better understand what a community's strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Communities are only as resilient as their most vulnerable citizens.


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.
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