Community Resilience

The Importance of Resilience

The importance of resilience from a jurisdictional standpoint has typically not been a consideration until something happens. From a bad storm that takes out power lines for a portion of the City for a few hours to a catastrophic hurricane that leaves homes uninhabitable and businesses closed for operation for days or even weeks. Do you recall seeing the picture of the home that was still pretty much intact in Mexico Beach, Florida after Hurricane Michael made landfall while everything else around them was utterly obliterated? Most everyone said, "How wonderful!"

But was it really? They had no power, no water, no sewage disposal, no place to buy food... so the house was there but it still wasn’t habitable, or the community livable.

Accessing & Improving Resilience

The Alliance for National and Community Resilience (ANCR) was founded in 2016 by the International Code Council, U.S. Resiliency Council, and the Meridian Institute, as a 501(c)(3) national coalition of public and private sector stakeholders working to advance community resilience. ANCR’s primary objective is the development of a system of community benchmarks, the first such system of its kind in the United States, that will allow community leaders to easily assess and improve their resilience across all functions of a community.

Martinsville Resilience Benchmarks -  The Pilot City

The City of Martinsville was selected as the pilot City to work through the newly established benchmarks for resilience. There are three main concentrations with ratings of essential, enhanced, and exceptional:

We meet many of these benchmarks already. Working through them we are shooting for exceptional in every area, but just participating can give us a starting point for possible improvement.

Staff has been working through these benchmarks since late October and providing evidence of how we meet each area. While we are hopeful to be able to receive a Community Resilience rating at the completion of this process, we understand the most important part is to be able to give ourselves a starting point and to improve. We are about a third of the way through the process and hope to finalize everything in time for Building Safety Month in May.

As demonstrated by the National Institute of Building Sciences, investments in hazard mitigation can provide a benefit between $4 and $11 for every $1 invested. ANCR’s work will provide communities with the tools and metrics to help realize these returns creating more resilient communities.

Resilience Matters

Being able to maintain critical facilities and infrastructure operable, getting businesses back up and running, getting homes occupiable as soon as possible reduces the economic burden on our valuable resources and gives us flexibility in our response to the situation as a whole.

Resilience Is Marketable

The National Academy of Science has published a report on "Building and Measuring Community Resilience: Actions for Communities and the Gulf Research Program." The report looks at efforts underway to measure resilience at a community level and offers findings and recommendations on common approaches and key issues future programs should consider.

Key Takeaways

  • All communities experience a mix of shocks and stressors and measuring resilience can help communities.
  • An excerpt from a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions entitled The Resilience Factor: A Competitive Edge for Climate-Ready Cities (PDF) shows that climate-resilient communities can avoid costs and realize gains such as increased tax revenues. View the report to learn more about the importance of being a climate-ready city.

The benefits are not just financial, our youth graduating from colleges and universities care about their future. They are taking classes and learning a great deal about resilience, sustainability, carbon emissions, and global warming. These things matter greatly as they look for where they want to live, work and play.

The Bottom Line

Resilience shows our commitment to our citizens and the long-term well-being of our community.

Important Resources

General Resilience Resources

Avoid Becoming a Scam Victim

When a community is facing hardships from major storms or disasters, that is when scam artists come out of the woodwork. The following resources will help you protect yourselves and your assets from falling prey to these individuals: