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What is resilience?

Coastal resilience means building the ability of a community to "bounce back" after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts

Resilience is important everywhere because all communities face hazard threats such as droughts and flooding. Coastal areas have additional hazard risk from storms such as hurricanes and increased population pressures, making resilience particularly important in those locations.

A community that is more informed and prepared will have a greater opportunity to rebound quickly from weather and climate-related events, including adapting to sea level rise. The ability to rebound more quickly can reduce negative human health, environmental, and economic impacts.

The ability of a community to successfully recover is linked to the strengths and capacities of individuals, families, businesses, schools, hospitals, and other parts of the community. Also, there are more people moving into high-risk areas such as the coast. With these population increases, homes, businesses, and infrastructure are also at great risk of damage from hazards. 

Because all communities are going to face hazards, resilience is important. Resilience is our ability to 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 are not adequately prepared to recover in the aftermath.

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Last updated: 02/26/21
Author: NOAA
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