The overarching goal of the committee is to increase the nation’s resilience at federal, state, local, and community levels through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters. Specifically, the committee seeks to
• Define “national resilience” and frame the primary issues related to increasing national resilience to hazards and disasters in the United States.
• Describe the state of knowledge about resilience to hazards and disasters in the United States.
• Provide goals, baseline conditions, or performance metrics for resilience at the U.S. national level.
• Outline additional information or data and gaps and obstacles to action that need to be addressed to increase resilience to hazards and disasters in the United States.
• Present conclusions and recommendations about the approaches that are needed to elevate national resilience to hazards and disasters in the United States.
At its first meeting in September 2010, the committee adopted a provisional definition of resilience:
The ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, or more successfully adapt to actual or potential adverse events.
This definition encompasses a very wide range of topics and considerations, including
• Improving coordination and organization among the various entities that have roles in all phases of disasters.
• Determining successful practices, as well as means to improve on these practices.
• The need to integrate information from the natural, physical, technical, economic, and social sciences.
• Measures of a community’s ability to withstand disasters.
• Assessments of progress toward successful recovery from a disaster.
• Cross-cutting topics, such as critical infrastructure, insurance and reinsurance, and ways that hazards cascade into disasters or catastrophes.
Underlying these issues are several more fundamental questions: What makes a community resilient? How can resilience be measured? How can progress toward achieving resilience be assessed? What tools are most effective for enhancing resilience?