Blog #5: Increasing Community Resilience
The word resilience is defined as a process linking a set of adaptive capacities to a positive trajectory of functioning and adaptation after a disturbance. Since reading that gives me a minor headache, it can be more simply defined as the power or ability to return to an original form after being altered. So, this is to say, how quickly can a community recuperate after a devastating tornado? Or how much success can an airline have after a plane crashes do to a preventable technicality? Therefore increasing resilience would increase stability. According to the assigned article,
resilience can be described as a set of networked adaptive capacities.
This involves information and communication, community competency, social capital, and economic development. These include details such as responsible media, skills of infrastructure, community action, flexibility and creativity, perceived social support, sense of community, and fairness of risk and vulnerability to hazards.
Many of the action steps that we have discussed in class are viewed in the reading as ways to increase community resilience. All in all, preventing, reacting, and planning must be taken into consideration in a hazardous situation in order to increase the likelihood of resilience. Without planning for possible events of crisis, proper techniques and resources will not be at the hands of organization, cities, etc. Reacting efficiently and activating clear and relative communication immediately after a crisis and in the aftermath of a crisis allows the public and members directly effected to feel that normalcy can once again be achieved. Finally, taking learned lessons from the hazardous events and acting upon them will help to instill a since of preparedness that will ultimately complete the cycle of resilience.
Applying an example to a situation from the statements above, we can look at the crisis of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many felt that the
planning by the government was insufficient and had much to do with the ease in which the terrorists were able to enact their plans. Whether or not this is actually true, the media portrayed it to be so in many situations, and therefore the idea was put in the mind of the public eye. The immediate aftermath of the attacks included a vast amount of reactions to the situation. The government started to make plans of war, acts of security, public apologies etc. Organizations and media began to spread messages and feelings of community via radio and TV ads, as well as donations and aid to the relief. In the later aftermath, prevention tactics were enabled throughout the United States, many of which we use still use today. Airport security was heightened immensely after the attacks, and is still at a much higher level today then it was previously to the attacks. We are still involved in war a decade later, which has the overall goal to keep us safe and prevent the ability for any other attacks.
From this example as well as all other examples of resilience, it is apparent that a lot of work often must go into creating normalcy after a hazardous event. While this can be achieved by planning, reactions, and preventative steps, it is important to remember that though resilience is strived for, the community, organization, etc. effected by the event must gain knowledge and grow from it, or the point of resilience would not exist.