The purpose of the following content is to show our community outreach, efforts to improve the overall resilience, and to speed recovery from major storms or disasters.
The Importance of Resilience
The importance of resilience from a jurisdictional standpoint has typically not been a consideration until something happens. From a bad storm that takes out power lines for a portion of the City for a few hours, to a catastrophic hurricane that leaves homes uninhabitable and businesses closed for operation for days or even weeks. Do you recall seeing the picture of the home that was still pretty much intact in Mexico Beach, Florida after hurricane Michael made landfall while everything else around them was utterly obliterated? Most everyone said "How wonderful!"
But was it really? They had no power, no water, no sewage disposal, no place to buy food... so the house was there but it still wasn’t habitable, or the community livable.
Accessing and Improving Resilience
The Alliance for National and Community Resilience, ANCR™, was founded in 2016 by the International Code Council, U.S. Resiliency Council and the Meridian Institute, as a 501(c)(3) national coalition of public and private sector stakeholders working to advance community resilience. ANCR’s primary objective is the development of a system of community benchmarks, the first such system of its kind in the United States, that will allow community leaders to easily assess and improve their resilience across all functions of a community.
martinsville Resilience Benchmarks - The Pilot City
The City of Martinsville was selected as the pilot City to work through the newly established benchmarks for resilience. There are three main concentrations with ratings of essential, enhanced and exceptional:
We meet many of these benchmarks already. Working through them we are shooting for exceptional in every area, but just participating can give us a starting point for possible improvement.
Staff has been working through these benchmarks since late October and providing evidence of how we meet each area. While we are hopeful to be able to receive a Community Resilience rating at the completion of this process, we understand the most important part is to be able to give ourselves a starting point and to improve. We are about a third of the way through the process and hope to finalize everything in time for Building Safety Month in May.
As demonstrated by the National Institute of Building Sciences, investments in hazard mitigation can provide a benefit between $4 and $11 for every $1 invested. ANCR’s work will provide communities with the tools and metrics to help realize these returns creating more resilient communities.
Being able to maintain critical facilities and infrastructure operable, getting businesses back up and running, getting homes occupiable as soon as possible reduces the economic burden on our valuable resources and gives us flexibility in our response to the situation as a whole.
Resilience Is Marketable
The National Academy of Science has published a report on "Building and Measuring Community Resilience: Actions for Communities and the Gulf Research Program." The report looks at efforts underway to measure resilience at a community level and offers findings and recommendations on common approaches and key issues future programs should consider.
key Take Aways
All communities experience a mix of shocks and stressors and measuring resilience can help communities
An excerpt from a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions entitled “THE RESILIENCE FACTOR: A COMPETITIVE EDGE FOR CLIMATE-READY CITIES” shows that climate resilient communities can avoid costs and realize gains such as increased tax revenues. View the report to learn more about the importance of being a climate-ready city.
The benefits are not just financial, our youth graduating colleges and universities care about their future. They are taking classes and learning a great deal resilience, sustainability, carbon emissions and global warming. These things matter greatly as they look for where they want to live, work and play.
The Bottom line
Resilience shows our commitment to our citizens and the long term wellbeing of our community.
Resilience Resources for Martinsville Residents and Businesses:
General Resilience Resources:
Ready.gov: The Federal Government's disaster preparedness webpage
Engaging the Public in Insurance Education: National Institute of Building Science Roadmap to Resilience Incentivization, which includes good information on insurance and actions local governments can take Insurance Information Institute's resilience blog