Preparedness and Resilience Complement Each Other


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The author’s property has a small ecological footprint and elevated resilience. Photo by Jan Spencer

Two words — preparedness and resilience — have attracted an increasing amount of interest in recent years. They are closely related but seldom identified together.

The Difference Between Preparedness and Resilience

Preparedness refers to being ready when disruption to normal life occurs. Disruptions and disasters can be natural or human caused or in combination, such as floods, fires, power failure and earthquakes. Other disasters can include chemical spills, draught, terrorism, dam failure, social/economic malfunction, sea level rise and more. Climate change is a disruption wild card.

Mainstream preparedness can include stashing food and water at home and having a “go bag” for emergency exit for self or family.



Many cities have programs that can help residents prepare for disruption and disaster with their neighbors. For example, here in Eugene, Ore., we have Map Your Neighborhood, a program with step-by-step “how-to” literature explaining how to organize 12 or 14 nearby homes. Even Neighborhood Watch can boost preparedness. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training offers instruction for light search and rescue, medical triage, community preparedness and more.



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