Blog 5: Community Resilience
In order to understand how to increase community resilience during a disaster or crisis, the term resilience should be properly defined. The concept of community resilience, in my opinion, is that no matter how differently people live in a community they all have the to endure the same fate. In other words a community going through a disaster or crisis has to learn how to deal with it and then adapt to the situation in order to bounce back. Community resilience as defined in the article by Norris et. al is defined as
The ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or sustained life stress
The capability to bounce back and to use physical and economic resources effectively to aid recovery followingexposure to hazards
Individuals’ sense of the ability of their own community to deal successfully with the ongoing political violence
The ability of community members to take meaningful, deliberate, collective action to remedy the impact of a problem, including the ability to interpret the environment, intervene, and move on
These are just some of the many definitions used to describe community resilience. Now that there is more of an understanding of what community resilience is, ways have to be shown of what to do to get your community to come together and become stronger before there is a disaster. One way that may be effective is the use of community bonds. According to the article
‘‘Sense of community’’ is an attitude of bonding (trust and belonging) with other members of one’s group or locale (Perkins et al. 2002, p. 37), including mutual concerns and shared values.
When a community is on one accord it can eliminate a lot of confusion and chaos therefore making everyone feel more as one when facing a crisis or disaster. By having community bonds it is easier to inform and adapt when needed to. Another strategy that is essential is to make sure that people have information and can communicate concerns. Good communication within a community is essential for a community to have resilience. Some specific strategies that are used to increase resilience in communities are
1. Develop economic resources, reduce risk and resource inequities. Communities need to attend to their areas of greatest social vulnerability. What this strategy entails is that community have enough money or financial income to reduce risks when a disaster may strike. By attending to their social vulnerability an example can be used of a part of a neighborhood that has a high crime rate. If that neighborhood were to have a blackout then the crime rate would increase for the mere fact that no one can really see what’s going on. For that reason alone communities should adhere to make that section safe before something like a black out would occur.
2. Access social capital, one of the primary resources of any community. Local people must be engaged meaningfully in every step of the mitigation. This means that community members should be more involved in the things that are taking place. For instance though there is a blackout and no one has power it you job as a to call the power company and adhere to your individual needs.
There are more strategies that could be used but I deem these the most important. I think with these strategies the effects that a disaster will have on a community will minimal because it would be as if everyone is doing there part before hand to make sure that it’s not as bad as it may seem