According to Stephen Flynn, the founding director of the Center for Resilience Studies at Northeastern University, “It will be the most resilient communities, companies, and countries that will prosper in the 21st century—those that are not resilient, that are fragile and brittle, will end up isolated and will fail in the current global environment.”
In other words, it’s simply not enough to be able to recover from a disaster. Those people, buildings, communities, businesses, and systems that truly thrive must recover fast and with minimal disruption. This concept of resiliency—the ability to withstand a disruption, blunt the impact, recover quickly, and adapt to emerge stronger and better prepared than before—has been a key focus of the Obama administration in preparing for the challenges of climate change, as well as for natural and man-made disasters. It is also a key concept at NFPA, which has begun the process of exploring how it can imbed more resilience concepts into its codes and standards.
The article “Resilience” in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal takes an in-depth look at this buzz word, what it means and what it looks like in practice in the real world. Through a series of case studies—wildfire mitigation in Prescott, Arizona; recovery and innovation in New York City after Superstorm Sandy; leadership and precision in the harrowing aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing; preparation for ever-bigger storms and flooding at Boston’s Logan Airport; and emergency planning using NFPA 1600 at a Fortune 500 company—NFPA Journal reveals the many facets of resiliency and how it has become such a critical concept for emergency planners in both business and government.
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