Whether a community is in the path of a natural disaster, the target of an act of terror, or simply striving to meet the demands of increasingly dense urban populations, a community resilience paradigm can help communities and individuals not just to mitigate damage and heal, but to thrive. This article discusses experiences from recent, large-scale disasters to explore how community resilience might serve as a sustainable paradigm for organizing public health and medical preparedness, response, and recovery. By strengthening health systems, meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, and promoting organizational competence, social connectedness, and psychological health, community resilience encourages actions that build preparedness, promote strong day-to-day systems, and address the underlying social determinants of health. Thus, community resilience resonates with a wide array of stakeholders, particularly those whose work routinely addresses health, wellness, or societal well-being.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Literature Cited

  1. Aldrich DP. 1.  2010. Fixing recovery: social capital in post-crisis resilience. Polit. Sci. Fac. Publ. Pap. 3:1–16 http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pspubs/3 [Google Scholar]
  2. Aldrich DP. 2.  2012. Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  3. 3. ASPR (Assist. Secr. Prep. Response) 2012. At-risk individuals factsheet. Last reviewed Dec. 18 ASPR, Washington, DC: ASPR http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/abc/Pages/at-risk.aspx
  4. 4. ASPR (Assist. Secr. Prep. Response) 2012. National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness. Washington, DC: ASPR http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/hpp/reports/Documents/capabilities.pdf
  5. Benight C. 5.  2004. Collective efficacy following a series of natural disasters. Anxiety Stress Coping 17:4401–20 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bonanno GA. 6.  2005. Resilience in the face of potential trauma. Curr. Dir. Psychol. Sci. 14:3135–38 [Google Scholar]
  7. Caplan G. 7.  1964. Principles of Preventive Psychiatry New York: Basic Books
  8. Chandra A, Acosta J, Howard S, Uscher-Pines L, Williams M. 8.  et al. 2013. Road to Resilience: Building Stronger, More Sustainable Communities Infographic, IG-114-DHHS. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp http://www.rand.org/pubs/infographics/IG114.html
  9. Chandra A, Acosta J, Meredith LS, Sanches K, Stern S. 9.  et al. 2010. Understanding community resilience in the context of national health security Work. Pap., RAND Corp., Arlington, VA
  10. Chandra A, Acosta J, Stern S, Uscher-Pines L, Williams MV. 10.  et al. 2011. Building community resilience to disasters: a way forward to enhance national health security RAND Health Tech. Rep. 1–78, RAND Corp., Santa Monica, CA
  11. 11. Christch. City Counc 2013. Share an Idea. Video, 4 min. Christch. City Counc., Christchurch, NZ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tn9Lm_5xiY&feature=youtu.be
  12. Coles E, Buckle P. 12.  2004. Developing community resilience as a foundation for effective disaster recovery. Aust. J. Emerg. Manag. 19:46–15 [Google Scholar]
  13. Courtney B, Toner E, Waldhorn R, Franco C, Rambhia K. 13.  et al. 2009. Healthcare coalitions: the new foundation for national healthcare preparedness and response for catastrophic health emergencies. Bisecur. Bioterror.: Biodef. Strategy, Pract. Sci. 7:2153–63 [Google Scholar]
  14. Cutter SL, Burton CG, Emrich CT. 14.  2010. Disaster resilience indicators for benchmarking baseline conditions. J. Homel. Secur. Emerg. Manag. 7:11–22 [Google Scholar]
  15. Kailes JI, Enders A. 15.  2007. Moving beyond “special needs”: a function-based framework for emergency management and planning. J. Disabil. Policy Stud. 17:4230–37 [Google Scholar]
  16. Kaji AH, Koenig KL, Lewis RJ. 16.  2007. Current hospital disaster preparedness. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 298:182188–90 [Google Scholar]
  17. Khan AS, Lurie N. 17.  2014. Health security in 2014: building on preparedness knowledge for emerging health threats. Lancet 384:993793–97 [Google Scholar]
  18. Kim D, Subramanian SV, Kawachi I. 18.  2006. Bonding versus bridging social capital and their associations with self rated health: a multilevel analysis of 40 US communities. J. Epidemiol. Community Health 60:116–22 [Google Scholar]
  19. Litz BT, Gray MJ. 19.  2004. Early intervention for trauma in adults. Early Intervention for Trauma and Traumatic Loss BT Litz 87–111 New York: Guilford [Google Scholar]
  20. Lurie N, Morton MJ. 20.  2013. Community resilience in public health practice. Am. J. Public Health 103:1158–60 [Google Scholar]
  21. Marmot M. 21.  2005. Social determinants of health inequalities. Lancet 365:94641099–104 [Google Scholar]
  22. Melillo JM, Richmond TC, Yohe GW. 22.  2014. Global climate change impacts in the United States Third Nat. Assess. 1–829, U.S. Glob. Change Res. Progr., Washington, DC
  23. Myers D. 23.  1994. Disaster Response and Recovery: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals Monterey, CA: Diane
  24. 24. Natl. Biodef. Sci. Board 2014. Community Health Resilience Report. Washington, DC: Natl. Biodef. Sci. Board http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/legal/boards/nprsb/meetings/Documents/nbsb-chrreport.pdf
  25. 25. Natl. Comm. Child. Disaster 2010. Report to the President and Congress. Agency Healthc. Res. Qual. Rep. 1–185, Agency Healthc. Res. Qual., Rockville, MD
  26. 26. Natl. Res. Counc 2012. Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative. Washington, DC: Natl. Acad. Press
  27. Norris FH, Stevens SP, Pfefferbaum B, Wyche KF, Pfefferbaum RL. 27.  2008. Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. Am. J. Community Psychol. 41:127–50 [Google Scholar]
  28. Plodinec MJ. 28.  2013. Definition of Community Resilience: An Analysis CARRI Rep. 1–14 Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge Natl. Lab.
  29. Poortinga W. 29.  2011. Community resilience and health: the role of bonding, bridging, and linking aspects of social capital. Health Place 18:2286–95 [Google Scholar]
  30. Rothman M, Brown LM. 30.  2008. The vulnerable geriatric casualty: medical needs of frail older adults during disasters. Generations 31:416–20 [Google Scholar]
  31. Rudolph L, Caplan J, Mitchell C, Ben-Moshe K, Dillon L. 31.  2013. Health in All Policies: improving health through intersectoral collaboration Presented at IOM Roundtable Popul. Health. Improv., Sept. 18, Washington, DC
  32. Ruzek JI, Brymer MJ, Jacobs AK, Layne CM, Vernberg EM, Watson PJ. 32.  2007. Psychological first aid. J. Ment. Health Couns. 29:117–49 [Google Scholar]
  33. Serino R. 33.  2013. Medical response to Marathon bombings was a community-wide effort. The Boston Globe April 26. http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/04/26/medical-response-marathon-bombings-was-community-wide-effort/VxBxwziGKrz532QbwPQlfP/story.html
  34. Szreter S, Woolcock M. 34.  2004. Health by association? Social capital, social theory, and the political economy of public health. Int. J. Epidemiol. 33:4650–67 [Google Scholar]
  35. Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG. 35.  2004. Posttraumatic growth: conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychol. Inq. 15:11–18 [Google Scholar]
  36. 36. USDHHS (U.S. Dep. Health Hum. Serv.) 2009. National Security Strategy of the United States of America Washington, DC: USDHHS http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/planning/authority/nhss/strategy/documents/nhss-final.pdf
  37. 37. USDHHS (U.S. Dep. Health Hum. Serv.), CDC (Cent. Dis. Control Prev.) 2011. Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning. Atlanta, GA: USDHHS, CDC http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/capabilities/DSLR_capabilities_July.pdf
  38. 38. WHO (World Health Organ.) 1948. Preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization Adopt. Int. Health Conf., 19–22 June 1946, New York. http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html
  39. 39. WHO (World Health Organ.) 2014. Global Health Observatory (GHO): world population growth WHO, Geneva. http://www.who.int/gho/urban_health/situation_trends/urban_population_growth_text/en/# [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error