The Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) is preparing to pilot-test a new system for improving community resilience in seven leading communities across the United States. The Community Resilience System (CRS) is a six-stage process that guides communities through assessments, goal-setting, action-planning and implementation in order to improve their resilience.

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CARRI began as an “initiative” in 2007 and is a collaborative effort between the Department of Homeland Security (Science and Technology Directorate) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, supported by Meridian Institute and a number of academic institutions. Early CARRI activities included the engagement of a diverse collection of individuals, organizations, and government entities – with a charge to learn all that we could about the condition and path of community resiliency.

In early 2010, CARRI began the Community Resilience System Initiative with the aim of creating a product that any community could access and use to increase its resilience. The initiative engaged over 150 researchers, community leaders, and business executives over an 18 month period to produce a web-friendly process and support tools for American communities.

The web-based system will help a community assess its capacity to withstand significant disturbances and help them create an approach to recovery. By creating a vision for the future and establishing the necessary actions to improve overall resilience to disasters and other disturbances, this system will help people prepare for – and recover from – any challenge.

“Communities today face an increasing number of challenges, ranging from natural and man- made disasters to environmental hazards and economic declines,” said Warren Edwards, Director of The Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI). “We know that a community will be resilient when it can bring together the people, processes, and technology that help them anticipate risk and build an executable plan. With insights from the foremost experts, we have created a roadmap for helping communities anticipate risk, adapt to challenges, and bounce back stronger and faster.”

CARRI plans to pilot the CRS in seven leading communities over the next eighteen months. These seven leading communities vary in size, geography, economics, and community composition. Their feedback will be used to fine-tune the system so that it is easier for other communities to access.

The seven leading communities that will pilot the Community Resilience System are Anaheim, California; Anne Arundel County and Annapolis, Maryland; Charleston and the Tri-County Area, South Carolina; Gadsden, Alabama; Greenwich, Connecticut; the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

In addition to the release of the system, CARRI captured the feedback that went into the development of the CRS in a report, titled “Community Resilience System Initiative (CRSI) Steering Committee Final Report – a Roadmap to Increased Community Resilience.” The report builds on over 3 years of academic research, broad collaboration with partner communities and other national stakeholders, and practical experience. It outlines the CRS and details a roadmap that provides America’s communities with a set of tools and processes that will help them prepare for disasters and improve their resilience.

To learn more about the CARRI, the Community Resilience System Initiative, the CRS, or to read the report, visit www.ResilientUS.org.

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