Meteorologists know that American communities face an abundance of natural, technological, and human‐caused hazards. Despite the high costs and disruptions from hazards, most communities don't consider their vulnerability to be a priority relative to other pressing demands or they believe resilience will be too expensive. They may take planning steps, but lack a comprehensive, risk-based approach and miss opportunities to protect lives, livelihoods, and quality of life. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory federal agency, has developed the Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems. The Guide outlines an orderly, affordable planning process to create a resilient built environment – buildings and the interdependent physical infrastructure—that supplies services to the community. It shows how community leaders can incorporate both short and long-term resilience goals into a community's existing planning. The Guide is based on NIST's long expertise with building and construction-related performance – including laboratory research, post-disaster investigations, and close work with the standards and code community – as well as a year-long, national collaborative development process with the private sector and others. The meteorological community can and should play a key role in raising awareness about, using, and improving the Guide.
This Guide is different from other planning documents. It begins by considering the community's social needs – education, healthcare, business and jobs as well as the need for food, shelter and water. It helps community leaders to better understand those needs, match them up with the expected and needed performance of structures in the face of potential hazards. And it enables those leaders and the broader community to make conscious decisions about managing risks and taking steps forward. The guide recognizes that most communities are strapped for resources to devote to resilience-related actions – and provides a comprehensive method to align priorities and resource allocation with community resilience goals. A community resilience plan can be used to integrate economic development, zoning, and other local planning activities – including emergency response and management – that impact buildings, public utilities and other infrastructure systems.
Information about the Guide can be found at: http://www.nist.gov/el/building_materials/resilience/guide.cfm
Related information is at: http://www.nist.gov/el/building_materials/resilience/