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Community Partnerships Are Vital for National Resilience

Government and Business Leaders Sharing Perspectives About Post-Harvey Housing Recovery Needs in 2018

Cities from Jacksonville to Gary, IN are embracing the importance of public-private partnerships for resilience. This is important for multiple reasons. Here are just three to consider:

  1. Access to more skills, resources, and competencies. Threats like hurricanes, tornadoes, or pandemics affect everyone. No single organization is good at everything. Partnerships enable community leaders to deploy more resources and know-how.

  2. Better coordination. There's a common saying in emergency management circles that "the worst time to exchange business cards is the day of an emergency." By creating partnerships during "blue skies", different organizations are able to get to know each other's capabilities and build open channels of communication. This can be an extraordinarily valuable asset in times of crisis.

  3. Access to more information. Each partner in a community will face the world in different ways. Having regular calls and information-sharing protocols can strengthen early warning systems, help identify threats, vulnerabilities and emerging hazards more quickly, and help decision-makers understand problems from multiple perspectives.

The truth is that disasters can strike anywhere at anytime. While outsiders may be able to surge resources to a place, the true first responders to any crisis are the local responders. To be a truly resilient country, resilient systems need to be developed at the local level. Everyone has to "own" resilience because everyone can be a victim, a responder, or a supporter. Partnerships help governments, critical infrastructures, and community organizations know that they don't have to bear their burdens alone.

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