P!Npartners:UNC Chapel Hill Hazards Center

P!Npartners: UNC Chapel Hill Hazards Center

Anna Schwab of the UNC Hazards Center shares an update on the Center’s far-reaching work

Hazards Center initiates Joint Project on Social Resilience

The Hazards Center and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland have joined forces on a project entitled “An Integrated Conception of Community Resilience (ICCR).”

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security, this study will use archival and key informant survey data to measure components of social and physical resilience at the community level in the context of disasters, both natural and human-caused.

The research has two primary aims:

1. Investigators aim to integrate conceptions of physical resilience (i.e., resilience of built and natural environments) and social resilience (i.e., resilience of social and economic environments) into a single comprehensive framework.

2. The project aims to develop a multi-faceted but unified approach for assessing capacities for this integrated conception of community resilience. Both physical resilience and social resilience will be assessed through analysis of archival data and key informant survey data towards the creation of an efficient metric for assessing the integrated concept of resilience. The metrics developed can then be applied nationally to assess county-level and regional resilience and to monitor or model change in resilience that results from new policies and interventions.

Hazards Center Earns Grant to study Long Term Recovery Planning

The Hazards Center has initiated a joint program with the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law to study the capacity for long-term disaster recovery planning in the State of North Carolina. With funding from the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions, investigators will assess how North Carolina can develop an advance plan for rebuilding communities if/when the state is hit by a major hurricane, flood, winter storm, or other hazard.

The timing of this analysis is critical, since it coincides with the release of the draft National Disaster Recovery Framework (Feb. 5, 2010) and its continuing refinement. The NDRF is a project to improve the implementation of disaster recovery in the US. It was created as part of a Congressional requirement after Hurricane Katrina. However, the federal initiative, which suggests that disaster recovery planning is important, does not specify how recovery planning will be achieved, nor does it describe the content of suggested federal, state and local recovery plans. Thus, the results of this joint study will be used to help provide recommended improvements to the NDRF.