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HOST: With the start of hurricane season, what better time than now to be prepared. Individuals and communities can take steps to ensure they are resilient before a coastal storm or other hazardous event may strike their coast. Today on Diving Deeper Shorts, we revisit our interview on resilience from June 2009 with Sandy Eslinger from the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
Let's listen in.
HOST: Sandy, why is resilience important?
SANDY ESLINGER: Well Kate, resilience is important for many reasons. First, we know that all communities are going to face hazards. Resilience is the ability of communities to rebound from them. It's the extent to which we can prevent a short-term hazard event from turning into a long-term community-wide disaster. While most communities effectively prepare themselves to respond to emergency situations, many aren't adequately prepared to recover in the aftermath. There is a lot at stake, even after the storm has passed. The ability of a community to successfully recover is linked to the strengths and capacities of individuals, families and businesses, schools, hospitals, and other parts of the community. Also, there are more people moving into hazardous areas such as the coast and with these population increases come increased risk exposure to homes, businesses, and infrastructure that are all dependent on one another.
HOST: Sandy, what is the role of the National Ocean Service in resilience efforts?
SANDY ESLINGER: Well, the NOAA Coastal Services Center, which is part of the National Ocean Service, is involved with partners from all across NOAA to work together on this issue to best serve coastal communities. There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise related to resilience from all parts of NOAA. NOAA's committed to providing data, models, and tools to help communities better assess their risk and vulnerabilities as well as their resilience capacity. Land use and natural resource data developed by NOAA can help communities make decisions to minimize their exposure in high-hazard areas. They're also coastal zone management grants available to states to help in increasing their resilience.
HOST: Sandy, is there anything our listeners can do to support resilience efforts in their communities?
SANDY ESLINGER: Well, they can start by learning more about what their communities are doing to address resilience to hazards and they can get involved. If the community isn't considering resilience and decisions about long-range planning, infrastructure, and economic development; it may be time to do something. Contact us and we can put you in touch with state or local organizations that can help.
Want to learn more? Go to oceanservice.noaa.gov/podcast.php and select the June 2009 podcast archive to listen to the full interview on resilience.
You can catch our next episode in two weeks.