Resilience and community resilience

  • Resilience, in the context of disasters, is the ability to mitigate and rebound quickly.
  • Community resilience is the ability of communities to withstand and recover from past disasters, and to learn from past disasters to strengthen future response and recovery efforts.

    Five core components of community resilience:
    • Physical and psychological health of the population
    • Social and economic equity and well-being of the community
    • Effective risk communication
    • Integration of organizations (governmental and nongovernmental) in planning, response, and recovery
    • Social connectedness for resource exchange, cohesion, response, and recovery
Asset mapping

Asset mapping is a tool that can help people understand all the resources and assets that a community can leverage, and help them begin to make plans for the future or address challenges with this knowledge. Assets may include physical assets like parks and buildings, social assets like community groups, and human assets like skills and knowledge of local individuals and community groups.


Physical, natural, financial, social, and human buffers that are critical to helping communities withstand shock and stresses in the face of disasters. Identifying assets is an important step in asset mapping, and is intended to foster community resilience. In particular, it is intended to help organizations—faith-based, promotoras, and others—to build community resilience into their work.


Ability to achieve a set of outcomes through actions or strategies.

Community-partnered research

In the context of the LACCDR, a participatory method to use collaborative methods to support workgroups in developing CR action plans.


A term used to describe whether a plan has CR in its measures. This term can also refer to community capabilities that buffer from or support effective responses to disasters.

Levers of resilience

RAND's eight levers—wellness, access, education, engagement, self-sufficiency, partnership, quality, and efficiency.

  • Wellness - Promote pre- and post-incident population health, including behavioral health
  • Access - Ensure access to high-quality health, behavioral health, and social services
  • Education - Ensure ongoing information to the public about preparedness, risks, and resources before, during, and after a disaster
  • Engagement - Promote participatory decision-making in planning, response, and recovery activities
  • Self-sufficiency - Enable and support individuals and communities to assume responsibility for preparedness
  • Partnership - Develop strong partnerships within and between government and nongovernmental organizations
  • Quality - Collect, analyze and utilize data on building community resilience
  • Efficiency - Leverage resources for multiple use and maximum effectiveness
Outcome evaluation

Observing the results of implementing CR to determine if those involved report changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes and/or behaviors related to community resilience, and beginning to identify challenges and successes based on data collected.

  • Key outcome measures at the community level include the development of local capacity, like trained leaders, and the integration of CBOs into disaster planning.
  • Key outcome measures at the agency level include improvements in preparedness capabilities and development of partnerships between CBOs and responder agencies.
  • Key outcome measures at the individual level include knowledge and use of resilience practices and awareness of CR goals and resources.
  • Relational measures are partner measures between organizations.
Process evaluation

Analyzes the effectiveness of program operations, implementation, and service delivery. Examines whether the delivery of a program aligned with its goals, and, if it was delivered to the intended individuals, how well service delivery was organized, the effectiveness of program management, and how efficiently program resources were used. Measuring the quality of the CR implementation efforts can inform the quality of how these efforts are proceeding. Using a variety of methods to assess the ongoing implementation process, immediate and critical opportunities are identified for making midcourse corrections that will improve program operation. In CR planning, identifying the processes that the agency, leader, and field-worker use to promote CR toolkits is part of the ongoing process evaluation.


LACDPH and members of the Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA), an umbrella organization for CBOs, faith-based organizations, and private-sector organizations that support disaster response and provide routine services to address community needs.

Tabletop exercise

A tabletop exercise is typically held in an informal setting and is intended to generate discussion of various issues regarding a hypothetical, simulated emergency. In this project it is intended to provide a baseline status (and ultimately assessment) of the Coalitions along the four focus levers of community resilience:

  • Partnerships - How are coalitions leveraging partnerships within and across sectors, within and across government and nonprofits?
  • Engagement - How are coalitions planning for vulnerable populations?
  • Education - What are the ways in which the coalition is ready to educate community members, not just during preparedness and response, but in long-term recovery?
  • Self-sufficiency - What are the ways in which the community is ready to respond and recover with limited or different government intervention?

Tabletop exercises can be used to enhance general awareness, validate plans and procedures, rehearse concepts, and/or assess the types of systems needed to guide the prevention of, protection from, mitigation of, response to, and recovery from a defined incident. During a tabletop exercise, players are encouraged to discuss issues in depth, collaboratively examining areas of concern and solving problems. During a tabletop exercise, all participants should be encouraged to contribute to the discussion and be reminded they are making decisions in a no-fault environment. Effective tabletop exercise facilitation is critical to keeping participants focused on exercise objectives.


In a given disaster scenario, vulnerable populations are often most at risk for poor survival outcomes. Factors like economic resources, assets and skills, information and knowledge, support and supportive networks, access to services, and shared community values, can determine the level of community vulnerability. A general understanding of five major forms of capital—social capital, economic capital, human capital, physical capital, and natural capital—can aid in reducing vulnerability and increasing community resilience.