Developing a Whole-Community Resilience Benchmark: A Commitment
Resilience is the ability of a community to positively adapt to change. This means anticipating the future and acting to mitigate potential harm while preparing to seize the opportunities inherent in turbulence and change. There currently is no practical, easily understandable way for communities to know their strengths, weaknesses or trajectories and therefore no way for them to gauge their resilience. With no understanding of their resilience position, communities have little impetus to undertake the vital but difficult challenge of taking action to reduce risk. They are unable to see that they can achieve clear short-term benefits through better access to capital, lower interest rates, and a more accommodating insurance market by taking actions to make the whole community more resilient in the longer-term. A Community Benchmark will reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the community, its trajectory, and its ability to positively respond to and rapidly recover from disruptive events. Because communities are highly interconnected, a community’s ability to rapidly recover from a natural disaster depends as strongly on its social and economic attributes as on the resilience of its infrastructure. Thus, a Community Benchmark must encompass the Whole Community.
By providing a resilience score, the Community Benchmark would:
- Motivate communities to take a “Whole Community approach” that considers all parts of the community. Every U.S. community is highly interconnected in a way that means that the recovery of its economy depends as much on social capital as on financial resources.
- Enable significant incentives to be provided to improve the community’s resilience position – largely financial through expanded individual, business, and government access to credit and insurance – but also social with greater civic pride, and the increased ability to attract jobs and people to a safer, more vital community.
- Provide investors – whether bond financiers, business lenders, banks, or insurance companies – with the ability to more accurately assess and price risk.
In the interest of creating equal opportunity for community prosperity, the Community Benchmark produced will be offered to jurisdictions at no cost or the lowest cost possible to support continuation of the Community Benchmark.
Creation of a national community resilience Community Benchmark requires broad engagement of stakeholders with strong equity in America’s communities. By our commitment to this project we support a neutrally-facilitated, stakeholder-driven, collaborative process that creates a practical and useful structure that incentivizes action by America’s communities. To encourage the most diverse coalition possible, this commitment will not forbid participation in current or future resilience projects.
Representing a wide range of organizations, businesses and professionals, we are committed to participating in this resilience effort, advocating a resilience Community Benchmark and demonstrating our commitment with our logos, below.
The Uniqueness of ANCR’s Community Resilience Benchmark
- Will provide a practical, easily understood benchmark for assessing cross-function resilience against which a community may measure itself and identify its strengths and weaknesses.
- Will provide a practical and easily understood pathway for action by identifying which standards, ratings, certifications and best practices a community should achieve or adopt to become more resilient.
- Will look at all aspects of the community’s resilience – the built infrastructure, the economy and the social fabric – using a “whole community” approach.
- Will Consider the functions (rather than individual systems) that a community must perform to be resilient thereby inherently addressing the interdependency of critical systems.
- Will primarily uses existing standards, ratings, certifications and best practices to create the benchmark.