Resilience in New Orleans

There are so many articles about the Katrina anniversary, it is hard to know which to pay attention to.  Two articles dealing with long-term aspects and resilience in particular are as follows: We’re still not ready for another Hurricane Katrina; by Stephen Flynn, Washington Post, August 29.

With local communities having exhausted their ability to bounce back, the problems with our country’s approach to managing disasters loom especially large. Three are most serious: continued uncertainty in the gulf region about how the federal government would organize to support it after a storm; confusion about how or whether insurance companies would pay claims; and signs that stepped-up evacuation preparedness has not been matched with planning to quickly return people to their communities.

We tend to think of resilience as something achieved or not, but this article indicates that various degrees of resilience may exist just in one block of one neighborhood.  That suggests to me that measuring resilience for a community is going to be a hard job. On One Block, Resilience and Despair, Jourdan Avenue’s Uneven Recovery Reflects New Orleans as a Work in Progress; Finally Back at Home—but No Hot Water August 28, WSJ.

New Report on Community Resilience – June 22

A useful new report titled Community Resilience: A function of resources and adaptability, from Syracuse University. June 2010. This 15 page report is a breath of fresh air — a clearly written, readily understandable account of resilience and its application at the community level. Well worth reading. [Thanks to Phil Palin for calling it to my attention.]