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10 Steps to Create More Resilient Communities

Often when we think about government, we think of a slow, bureaucratic system that cannot adopt quickly to change. But many government organizations have fought through these stereotypes and transformed their agencies into lean and agile institutions, able to meet the complex demands of public sector service delivery.

How? Transformative organizations understand that the key to sustainability lies with becoming resilient, and having the ability to continue to deliver services, no matter what crisis their community may face.

And certainly technology plays an important role to build more resilient communities – with technologies like cloud, GIS and mobile, organizations are able to more efficiently and effectively deliver services to organizations.

These solutions are providing the ability to take away tedious work from government. Technology is facilitating improved services by automating tasks, and providing employees access to the information, resources and tools they need to do their jobs better. To help communities understand what it means to be resilient, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction released its 10 Essentials for Making Cities Resilient.

  • Essential 1: Put in place organization and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on participation of citizen groups and civil society. Build local alliances. Ensure that all departments understand their role to disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
  • Essential 2: Assign a budget for disaster risk reduction and provide incentives for homeowners, low-income families, communities, businesses and public sector to invest in reducing the risks they face.
  • Essential 3: Maintain up-to-date data on hazards and vulnerabilities prepare risk assessments and use these as the basis for urban development plans and decisions. Ensure that this information and the plans for your city’s resilience are readily available to the public and fully discussed with them.
  • Essential 4: Invest in and maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risk, such as flood drainage, adjusted where needed to cope with climate change.
  • Essential 5: Assess the safety of all schools and health facilities and upgrade these as necessary.
  • Essential 6: Apply and enforce realistic, risk compliant building regulations and land use-planning principles. Identify safe land for low-income citizens and develop upgrading of informal settlements, wherever feasible.
  • Essential 7: Ensure education programs and training on disaster risk reduction are in place in schools and local communities.
  • Essential 8: Protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storm surges and other hazards to which your city may be vulnerable. Adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices.
  • Essential 9: Install early warning systems and emergency management capacities in your city and hold regular public preparedness drills.
  • Essential 10: After any disaster, ensure that the needs of the survivors are placed at the center of reconstruction with support for them and their community organizations to design and help implement responses, including rebuilding homes and livelihoods.

This checklist is essential reading for governments looking to improve their resiliency efforts, and build sustainable communities ready to provide services no what crisis they may face.

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Esri was founded in 1969, it realized even then that geographic information system (GIS) technology could make a difference in society. GIS helps people to solve problems at local, regional, national, and global scales. Access maps and apps at ArcGIS.com. Be sure to check out all the
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