Linn County was selected to be one of the first two pilot projects for the Community Resilience program by the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences Resilient America Roundtable.
The mission of the Resilient America Roundtable is to improve the nation’s resilience in the face of a wide range of disasters. The pilot program seeks to help community decision makers and their communities strengthen efforts and initiatives in building resilience, including:
• Improved understanding and communication of risk the community faces
• Build or strengthen partnerships and coalitions within and among communities to build resilience
• Identify means to measure community resilience
• Share data and information related to hazards, disasters, risk, and resilience
• A community disaster resilience strategy
At the recent roundtable meeting in Washington D.C., Linn County Board of Supervisor member Linda Langston and Arrietta Chakos, a policy advisor and expert in urban disaster policy, resilience, risk reduction, and public policy in California, met with roundtable members and discussed the objectives and priorities that representatives in Linn County identified for future work in building resilience. As a result, Linn County was highly recommended as a partner in the Community Resilience pilot program and the Resilient America Roundtable members unanimously agreed to invite Linn County to participate in the pilot program.
“I am so pleased Linn County has been chosen. Our response to the 2008 floods and our recovery process has been applauded by many at the federal level. This opportunity gives us the chance to more critically assess our assets and risks as well as measure what truly assists in building a community’s resilience,” said Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston.
The goal is to enlist many community partners in the pilot project. Partners already identified include the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County Emergency Management Association, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG), the faith-based community, and United Way.
“We are honored to support efforts and activities that are underway in Linn County, to provide assistance in areas that could be expanded or advanced, and to provide a mechanism to share Linn County’s experiences with building resilience with other communities around the nation,” said Lauren Alexander Augustine, director for the Program on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events, and associate executive director for the Division on Earth and Life Studies for the National Research Council in Washington, D.C. “We are very much looking forward to working with the Linn County community and are excited to be able to partner with such a vital and energized community.”
The pilot project should begin in the next few months and is expected to take two years to complete. For more information, visit: http://resilientamerica.nas.edu