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IBTS Community Resilience Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT)

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IBTS Community Resilience Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT)

Resilience is an on-going process that runs throughout every phase of natural disaster planning, response and recovery, and should be kept at the forefront of every decision communities make – not just regarding natural disasters. A resilient community is better-equipped to handle predicted and unexpected stresses and threats. Through our experience helping communities across the US prepare for and recover from natural disasters, we know that it can be challenging for communities to integrate resilience into their disaster and strategic planning and community culture.

To aid this effort, IBTS developed its Community Resilience Assessment Framework & Tools (CRAFT). The online platform – designed specifically to address the needs, challenges, and most pertinent threats faced by small communities – provides local governments with an all-encompassing assessment of its resilience strengths and vulnerabilities. Local leaders can use the results to make strategic decisions on where they should focus their efforts and funding to improve resilience.

IBTS takes a multi-faceted approach to resilience that goes beyond natural disaster preparedness to also encompass threats ranging from social unrest and business continuity to environmental degradation, cyber threats, and infrastructure failures. Communities can integrate CRAFT into the natural disaster process, or use it separately.

We also use CRAFT to perform resilience project impact assessments to identify and prioritize resilience projects and initiatives that may make the greatest improvement to a community’s existing resilience. The goal is to demonstrate a project’s measurable impact, which local leaders can then use to leverage funding and community support for projects that will make the greatest impact to resilience.

To ensure CRAFT encompasses all components of resilience, IBTS built the CRAFT framework on three pillars of resilience – social, economic and government. Each pillar includes components centered on different aspects of these three areas. For example, social resilience, includes components covering community cohesion and social supports, while economic resilience includes components for financial resources and logistical infrastructure, among others.

The CRAFT online platform uses a series of indicator questions to determine a community’s social, economic, and government resilience scores, in addition to an overall baseline score. Indicator questions cover a wide range of factors – such as accessibility of parks and public spaces, disaster planning efforts, local economic downturn, and outdated building codes – and include scoring criteria that provide examples of practical recommendations that communities can readily implement to improve their resilience.

IBTS resilience subject matter experts facilitate a workshop with a diverse set of community stakeholders on-site or remotely to determine a score for each indicator. Community stakeholders can include city managers, department heads, business leaders, and community advocates, among others.

Working through the indicator questions together allows community stakeholders to identity and discuss areas of strength and concern, and gives IBTS an opportunity to provide guidance and advice throughout the assessment.

IBTS provides all communities who receive a CRAFT assessment with a report that highlights their baseline assessment results and provides next steps to achieve the specific resilience objectives identified by community stakeholders. As a nonprofit that’s focused on developing innovative solutions to the challenges and threats facing local governments across the nation, IBTS positioned CRAFT to guide stakeholders towards actionable solutions that help municipalities integrate resilience into their natural disaster and strategic planning objectives.

At the end of the process, local leaders should feel more prepared to foray into resilience planning and project implementation and feel confident directing government and citizen focus towards building a more resilient community through specific projects and initiatives.

After contracting with IBTS to perform the initial CRAFT baseline assessment, communities can also choose from a suite of additional resilience consulting services, including:

  • CRAFT re-assessments, to measure changes to a community’s resilience baseline score over a given period of time or after the community has implemented resilience projects or plans.
  • Resilience workshops facilitated onsite with local stakeholders. Workshops are customized to help communities meet their specific resilience objectives and goals.
  • Technical assistance from IBTS’s subject matter experts in the areas of natural disaster management, energy and sustainability, local government solutions, and building services.

Read more about CRAFT, or contact CRAFT Program Manager Patrick Howell at phowell@ibts.org or (703) 481-2000 x192 to learn more about CRAFT and partnering with IBTS. To learn more about IBTS’s resilience consulting services, visit www.IBTS.org.

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