Disaster Resilience Indicators

FEMA’s new 2014-2018 Strategic Plan provides a road map for FEMA’s emergency management mission delivery over the next 4 years. The Plan calls for a strategy to build a risk and threat exposure baseline model with indicators to measure community-level and national performance in hazard risk reduction (see Strategy 4.1.2). FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) is leading the development of Priority 4 of the Strategic Plan –Enabling Disaster Risk Reduction Nationally. This priority encapsulates FEMA’s mission with respect to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and community disaster resiliency and sustainability. FEMA is conducting stakeholder engagement as part of the Strategic Plan Priority 4 development process.

This strategy also draws upon the National Academy’s Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative (2012) which outlines the current state of knowledge about resilience to disasters in the United States along with the types of data and tools needed to support decision-making with respect to increasing resilience. “Resilience” is a term used in emergency management to describe the capacity of people, organizations or systems to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies. FEMA will work with the whole community – which is a critical part of the emergency management team – to identify key, nationally-applicable indicators of physical, economic, environmental and social resilience against disasters and threats, including climate change. FEMA will use these indicators of disaster resilience at a community-level to provide an overall picture of the resilience of the nation in preparing for, responding to, and mitigating against disasters.

Strategy 4.1.2 is broken down into the following topical areas for public comment.

  • Organizations that have developed or are currently developing resilience indicators or resilience indexing methods and/or tools
  • Literature or articles after 2012 (post-National Academy Report) that define, discuss or recommend approaches to measuring physical, social, economic and/or environmental resilience at community, regional or national scales
  • Literature or articles after 2012 that define leading indicators of resilience that are generally applicable at the community level
  • Approaches to quantifying (indexing) indicators so that they can be measured and compared (scoring or indexing)
  • National performance metrics related to disaster resilience or related topics such as sustainability
  • Key hazard vulnerability and threat data sets that FEMA and partners can make more readily available for whole community use
  • Technology supporting indicators and quantification or indexing approaches
  • Community resilience self-assessment approaches
  • Communities’ current level of awareness of – and use of – resilience indicators – to drive community decisions and investments

Please help us shape FEMA’s resilience index project by providing your thoughts, ideas or suggestions for strategic goals and objectives related to each topic listed above that could improve the national approach to community disaster resiliency and climate change adaptation.

Resources

Campaign: Disaster Resilience Indicators

Baseline Resilience Indicators for Communities (BRIC)

What is needed is an integration of physical and social datasets through a suite of statistical and geospatial techniques to construct theoretically based and methodologically sound indicators/indices of resilience for the nation at the county level. The Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina has identified a set of quantitative baseline indicators for measuring disaster resilience. ...more »

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Napa Earthquake

This recent earthquake should be used to reinforce why buildings need to be brought up to code. Seems as if there is no way to track this in California...is it time for cities to submit information to a central database in Sacramento?

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Campaign: Disaster Resilience Indicators

Flood Hazard Mitigation

Enhance federal policies and funding programs and promote flood hazard "avoidance" practices over those supporting "retrofits, rehabs, restorations, and replacements." These practices would includes buy-outs, land use regulation and conservation particularly at areas identified by a community or state as key attenuation assets to more evenly distribute flood energy, sediments, and debris in riverine and coastal areas. ...more »

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More DHS FEMA Certifications Should be Obtained

The computer available self study program is not being utilized by upper level emergency managers enough, which sets a bad example for other workers and devalues this important rule book for conduct, to avoid panic based decisions by the uninformed. Further the wide range of topics gives an opportunity to advance, but also empower filling in during an emergency with poor communications or attendance at the site. It is ...more »

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Campaign: Disaster Resilience Indicators

Disaster evacuation

I hope this idea has already been addressed but in case not here it is. While watching the Katrina evacuation I noticed that the super highways leading out of New Orleans had traffic jams leaving the city, but the separated part of the highway leading INTO the city were completely empty. It seems that in an emergency the authorities could allow outbound traffic in BOTH lanes to evacuate the city so much easier. It ...more »

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Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (LGSAT)

The Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (LGSAT) developed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" campaign could help inform the identification of domestic indicators of disaster resilience. As of August 14, 2014, 2,000 cities around the world participate in the campaign, including four cities in the United States: Hoboken, Normandy, North Little ...more »

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Campaign: Disaster Resilience Indicators

Build a risk and Threat Exposure Baseline Model (TEBM)

I think that building a TEBM for a given location should take into account 3 components: 1). Exposure Matrix (EM): what specific exposures have happened in the past could serve as baseline model? What exercises/drills could be developed to address and train groups for future events? 2). Infrastructure Matrix (IM): how will a specific threat impact the ability of infrastructure to support recovery operations? What specific ...more »

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UN ISDR Disaster Resilience Scorecard

This is an add-on to Candice Abinanti's idea already submitted. UN ISDR also has a free scorecard containing over 80 detailed assessments of disaster resilience - in effect, 80 resilience indicators - available from http://www.unisdr.org/campaign/resilientcities/. This offers a level of detail below the LG SAT and is consistent with that instrument, being based on the same Ten Essentials as defined by the UN ISDR. ...more »

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Multi-Residential Unit Email Address

Each level can be considered a "street" address. Each level therefor is equivalemt of a block. So within the building inside any community, Each unit should have an inside community email address. More&more, people are living in multi-residential buildings and they don't even know the people on their own level yet have ideas about how their community should be maintained. If the USA citizens can't even get together and ...more »

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Campaign: Disaster Resilience Indicators

Organizational Resilience

As FEMA develops more tools to assess and develop business and organizational resilience (e.g. PS-PrepTM, the Business Continuity planning suite), it would be great if they also thought about how to drive and develop tools to help build a culture of resilience in organizations. Standards like ASIS SPC.1-2009 are useful for BC planing etc., but orgs also need leadership, culture, and processes that enable unplanned adaptation ...more »

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Consider multiple layers of protection and facebook accounts.

In the IT world, they place more than one layer of protection to prevent cyber attacks. Can they place more than one layer of protection around schools? I recently helped my daughter move into a dorm, and they gave her a key card to get into the building. Though a student was waiting at this doorway to enter the building at the same my daughter would enter. Not safe, though innocent. Can they place a secondary fence ...more »

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We can contain ebola

We Americans can contain Ebola; after all, we were the first in flight, developed the vaccine, put a man on the moon, and developed the Internet, when we all work together! One idea can build upon another and more ideas can build on these two new concepts and on and on it goes. Just like how we Americans developed inventions as listed, we can stop this deadly disease. Fortunately we have this Internet where we can share ...more »

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