What is a Resiliency Framework?

A resiliency framework provides a community or a region with a path to address the shocks and stresses they face, empowering action to reduce vulnerability, improve adaptability, and build social capital in the face of hazards and changing conditions. The framework is not a standalone plan like a hazard mitigation plan or a comprehensive plan. Rather, a resiliency framework provides a collaborative forum to assess current risks, plans and practices, and to build resiliency into policies, actions and investments across multiple sectors. Most importantly, it provides an opportunity to engage deeply with the community during a 6-12 month process in order to establish a collaborative, long-term roadmap for action.

How is this Different?

While a resiliency framework examines vulnerability to natural and human-caused hazards, it is not a hazard mitigation plan. The framework does not provide an exhaustive review of every shock and stress that a community might face; rather, it uses critical information from hazard mitigation plans, and other data sources to identify key interdependencies - and potential consequences -  of major shocks and stresses across multiple sectors. This evaluation, when combined with an assessment of existing conditions, provides a clear focus on what resiliency challenges are most important to the community and what strategies may most effectively address those challenges.

A resiliency framework is also not an exhaustive checklist of actions a community must take. Instead, it is an identification of a community’s vision; an extended community dialogue that informs identification strategies and potential projects to meet this vision; and a framework for which local government, community and faith-based organizations, the private sector, and the public can take collective and individual action to foster a culture of resiliency. Most importantly, it provides a framework for consistent collaboration and coordinated action.

Communities undertake a number of planning efforts. A resiliency framework establishes a holistic vision of what a resilient community looks like and a roadmap for how to get there.

Through a resiliency framework, a community can identify ways to best align public assets with ongoing planning activities and opportunities for future investments. Current adopted community plans can be coordinated to add resilience criteria to enhance the planning and decision making across multiple sectors for an outcome of a more resilient community that can withstand future shocks and stresses.  The Framework can provide the criteria and strategies to achieve outcomes that have co-benefits.  This is not traditional community planning.

What Are Key Components of a Resiliency Framework?

A resiliency framework is meant to build on existing plans, policies and investments through an assessment of existing conditions in the community. Resiliency frameworks consider how the reduction of vulnerability to both shocks and stresses can integrate into day-to-day activities and long-term vision and goals. Through extensive stakeholder and public engagement, the framework planning team should also develop consensus about the community’s vision and goals for resiliency, and use community input to guide development of strategies ideas that help fulfill the vision and meet the established goals.

Critical components of resiliency frameworks include:

  • A common understanding of resiliency and how it relates to community values;
  • An analysis of baseline existing conditions in the community and the shocks and stresses that the community faces
  • An inclusive engagement process that informs the public about the importance of resiliency, and informs the planning team as it develops Framework
  • A vision for the community that is supported by forward-looking goals, actionable strategies, and projects for action; and
  • An articulated roadmap for ongoing coordination and action.

Who Develops the Framework?

Resiliency frameworks can be developed on a number of different scales. One framework may address an individual city or town; another framework may cover an entire county and the municipalities within it; frameworks can even be developed on a larger regional scale. It is up to each community to decide on what scale their framework should be. Regardless of scale, frameworks need to be cross-disciplinary, and inclusive.