Community Resilience Assessment

Resilience? Why?

Community resilience connects the past, present, and future. We have to learn from the past, understand the current situation, and act now with that information in mind to minimize negative impacts (from natural disasters, pandemics, climate change impacts, and other disruptive events) in the future. Areas where a community is vulnerable show particularly clearly during crisis events, as do strengths. Resilience is important in non-crisis times too - increasing the resilience of the systems we rely on, and being able to meet needs at the local level benefits all of us, creating safer, more connected communities.

Purpose of this assessment

  • Highlights vulnerabilities and strengths
  • Demonstrates the many intertwined factors of resilience
  • Can help towns track progress in building community resilience across sectors over time
  • Gives a sense for community perception of resilience
  • Opens the conversation for action on priorities in a new way
  • It is NOT designed to give a quantitative score or to make comparisons between communities

Instructions: Rate your community’s current resilience in each category

  • The assessment is divided into five main topics: Basic Needs & Services, Environment & Natural Systems, Physical Infrastructure, and Community Connections & Capacity. Finally, there are a few questions at the end about your experience of the Covid-19 pandemic and your community’s response. At the end of each section, you can leave comments or additional information that you want to share, which is optional and anonymous. On average, this assessment takes about 20 minutes.
  • Under each main topic, there are categories (such as “Food supply”). Read the factors of a “very resilient system.” Rate where you think your community is at on a scale of 1-5, with a 1 being low resilience (or very vulnerable!) and a 5 being very resilient and meeting or exceeding the description. Answer the question from your perspective of how your community does in each area.
  • There will likely be several that you’re not quite sure about. Guess if possible! If you really have no idea, mark “Not sure!”

Note that the categories and factors of a “very resilient system” are brief examples and are not inclusive of all possibilities. The criteria included gives a snapshot and an indication of community systems in place. Remember: the criteria describes a very resilient system. Most communities do not score a 5.