• Interdependencies
  • Effect of natural disasters on critical infrastructure
  • Lifeline systems linkages
  • Understanding the recovery process
    for a community
  • Cascading failures resulting from
    natural disasters
  • Economic impact of major disasters
  • Community Planning
  • Impact on community productivity
  • Quantify and model disaster effects
  • Optimization of investment strategies


Many aspects of a community's recovery from disaster are being combined to analyze: the economic impacts and recovery, the social sciences and, of course, engineering and the built environment.

Effect of natural disasters on critical infrastructure

Identify linkages between lifeline systems such as the electrical power network and water systems, power and roadway intersections, and power and building function.

Lifeline systems linkages

Identify linkages between lifeline systems such as power and water supply, power and roadway intersections, and power and building functions.

Picture by FEMA/Rosanna Arias

Understanding the recovery process for a community

Population dislocation, defining the "rules" for determining population displacement, e.g. any of the following: extended loss of power, loss of water, damage to homes and businesses.

Economic impact of major disasters

An inventory of virtually all major disaster events are being examined to estimate economic outcomes as a function of disaster damage.

Community Planning

Concerned with the dislocation of people, disruption of resources such as hospitals, schools, retail and industrial businesses due to power/water/transportation failures.

Impact on community productivity

Questions about the economic impact of natural disasters on a community's present and future productivity, well-being, and quality of life for its inhabitants is examined.

Quantify and model disaster effects

The Center is working on how to quantify and include numerous hazard impacts for disasters to develop effective modeling approaches for community planning; essentially developing the science behind community resilience assessment.

Optimization of investment strategies

In an optimization model, the characteristics in this type of network can be used to determine appropriate strategies to mitigate the quantitative and qualitative effect of disaster in terms of lives affected and impact on the economy.

Community Resilience: Modeling, Field Studies and Implementation

Thursday, April 27, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM (MDT)

Learn more about the NIST-funded Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning and how the Center is developing a computational environment to help define the attributes that make communities resilient.

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Lumberton, NC Flood is Center's first field study - team of researchers will study Lumberton recovery over the next few years.

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The Center Team is composed of more than 90 individuals, including researchers, programmers/developers, NIST collaborators, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students from our University Partners. Working closely in teams on more than 40 tasks, the Center of Excellence will provide a common data architecture by collaborating with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to ensure that data from around the world can be seamlessly integrated into a robust computational environment known as IN-CORE. IN-CORE will allow users to optimize community disaster resilience planning and post-disaster recovery strategies intelligently using physics-based models of inter-dependent physical systems combined with socio-economic systems.

The ability to model community disaster resilience comprehensively requires that experts from a number of disciplines work in concert to systematically model how physical, economic and social infrastructure systems within a real community interact and affect recovery efforts. There are currently no models that consider all aspects of how a natural disaster affects a community or measure its resilience quantitatively. The Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning is unique in merging the disciplines of Engineering, Social Sciences and Economics to model community resilience comprehensively. Systems that are essential for the recovery and vitality of a community - technological, financial, social and political support, healthcare delivery, education, and public administration - are being integrated in the model, creating a nexus between social and technological infrastructure networks that will narrow the gap between engineering and social science aspects of resilience planning and will facilitate risk communication among stakeholders and community resilience planners. The work products from the Center will provide a quantitative and science-based approach to community resilience assessment and, for the first time, will support a business case for enhancing disaster resilience at the community level.

Full validation of the system architecture in IN-CORE will be possible through extensive field studies focused on community resilience and recovery rather than simply infrastructure damage and failure studies. IN-CORE will be able to answer detailed questions on the lingering effects of natural disasters on communities; population dislocation, health and the well being of the residents, impacts across the economic spectrum as well as the fiscal impacts, thereby assessing community resilience and disaster recovery via a suite of resilience metrics.