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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Community Resilience

Contact the Bureau of Preparedness and Response

  •  850-245-4040

    Mailing Address

    Florida Department of Health 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A23 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399 

"Disaster resilient communities are, first and foremost, communities that function and solve problems well under normal conditions. By matching existing capabilities to needs and working to strengthen resources, communities are able to improve their disaster resiliency. Community leaders and partners can help emergency managers in identifying the changing needs and capabilities that exist in the community."

—FEMA: A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management

Community Resilience umbrella graphic showing community preparedness, community recover, critical infrastructure, medical countermeasure dispensing, and non-phrarmaceutical interventionCommunity Resilience relies on the ability to develop informed, empowered and resilient health care systems and residents.  The Florida Department of Health supports communities in meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Preparedness Capabilities and working toward a national standard for being resilient to public health emergencies and incidents. With adequate information, resources and tools communities are better prepared to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond, recover and adapt to threats and all-hazards

Bureau of Preparedness and Response programs, projects, tips, tools and resources enhance community readiness and support the delivery of health care services to vulnerable populations most at-risk for poor outcomes due to a disaster or incident. Resources support county health departments and partners in their whole community approach to understanding and meeting needs, engaging and empowering all parts of the community and strengthening what works well.  Follow the links below for program resources and tools.  For an overview of programs and fiscal year highlights see Community Resilience Program Fact Sheets.

picture of 3 children that says children are not small adultsChildren's Disaster Preparedness represents the collaboration between the Florida Department of Health and health care and community partners to ensure the safety and security of all children before, during and after public health emergencies and disasters. This page contains a collection of federal, state and local resources focused on planning for and managing the emergency preparedness and response needs of children.

truck with supplies for bioterrorist eventCities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded, nationwide project that focuses on enhancing preparedness in the major metropolitan statistical areas where more than 50% of the U.S. population resides. Through CRI, state and large metropolitan public health departments develop plans to respond to a large-scale bioterrorist event within 48 hours.

Arrow with recovery written on itCommunity and Health Care System Recovery is the ability to collaborate with community partners to plan and advocate for the rebuilding of public health, medical and mental/behavioral health systems to at least a level of functioning comparable to pre-incident levels, and improved levels where possible.

two women hugging after disasterDisaster Behavioral Health Response Teams work with communities and emergency responders to assist with the mitigation of emotional, psychological and physical effects of a disaster, natural or man-made. Disaster behavioral health responders apply the concepts of psychological first aid to help those affected overcome the initial impact of shock, denial and depression when confronting disasters.

hands washing with soapNon-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) are actions that people and communities can take to reduce exposure and help slow the spread of illness. The program provides guidance for strategies that may include social distancing, case containment measures, decontamination, infection control measures and protective behaviors.

Project Public Health Ready iconProject Public Health Ready (PPHR) is a criteria-based public health preparedness program that assesses local health department capacity and capability to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies. PPHR aims to protect the public's health and increase the public health infrastructure by equipping local health departments with sustainable tools to plan, train and exercise using a continuous improvement model. Florida was the first state to coordinate this national public health program statewide, and encourages all county health departments to participate.

woman in wheelchair looking outsidePersons with Access and Functional Needs incorporates several important programs. The toolkit is designed to help community planners better understand the needs of persons with access and functional needs before, during and after a disaster or incident. Tools are designed to enhance awareness and assessment of, and communications to those most at-risk.

Community Resilience Resources 

Resilience is defined as the ability to quickly recover, rebound or bounce back. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response described community resilience as "the sustained ability of communities to withstand and recover from adversity." Programs and projects supported by the Bureau of Preparedness and Response Community Resilience Unit demonstrate the importance of working as a team with county health departments and stakeholders to assure communities succeed in this endeavor.

This section contains links to state, federal and other resources and publications to assist county health departments and local communities in their "whole community" approach to becoming resilient.

Florida Department of Health Resources

Community Resilience Webcasts — Webcasts and presentations hosted by the Community Resilience Unit sharing new information, experiences, and best practices.

Family Preparedness Guides — Help individuals make a plan and get the right supplies that can help minimize risks to known hazards.

Florida CHARTS — The Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set with community tools and data on a variety of issues and health indicators.

Local Health Department Coalition Development Tools — Information and tools to assist local health departments establish, participate in and maintain local or regional public health preparedness coalitions or networks.

Special Needs Shelter Program — The page contains a collection of tools and resources to assist local officials and planners, special needs shelter consultants, shelter unit leaders, nurses or others who may have a role in sheltering activities. Information and resources are also available for Discharge Planning.

Special Needs Shelter Public Service Announcements (PSA)  — Individuals with special needs are encouraged to make arrangements, in advance, for sheltering and evacuation transportation, if needed. Communities can use these informative 30 second PSAs to promote registration for special needs shelters.
PSA 1 with American Sign Language 

PSA 2 with American Sign Language

Reports and Publications

A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action — The document "presents a foundation for increasing individual preparedness and engaging with members of the community as vital partners in enhancing the resiliency and security of our nation through a whole community approach." FEMA, December 2011.

Building Community Resilience for Children and Families — A guidebook that provides information about building community resilience and helping communities improve their capacity to respond effectively to natural or man-made disasters or acts of terrorism. The Terrorism and Disaster Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, National Child Traumatic Stress Network, February 12, 2007.

Coastal Resilience Index — A community self-assessment tool "to provide community leaders with a simple an inexpensive method of predicting if their community will reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning after a disaster." After completing the self-assessment, communities can calculate their resilience index. Cooperative multi-state project funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, November 2010.

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative — This book addresses the issue of increasing the nation's resilience to disaster. It provides "goals, baseline conditions or performance metrics for national resilience and outlines additional information, data, gaps and/or obstacles that need to be addressed to increase the nation's resilience to disasters." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, 2012. Free download is available from the National Academies Press.

Homeland Security Advisory Council Community Resilience Task Force Recommendations — Report from the task force providing findings and recommendations for building national resilience, June 2011.

Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-21 — Public Health and Medical Preparedness — Presidential directive establishing a National Strategy for Public Health and Medical Preparedness. President George Bush, October 18, 2007.

National Health Security Strategy of the United States of America (NHSS) and Implementation Plan 2015-2018—The document provides strategic direction to ensure that efforts to improve health security nationwide over the next four years are guided by a common vision; based on sound evidence; and carried out in an efficient, collaborative manner.  The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) led the development of the NHSS in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.

Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8: National Preparedness — Presidential directive aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the nation. President Barack Obama, March 30, 2011.

Resilience "Whole of Community" Approach — August 2012 edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal. Ten authors discuss various aspects of the "Whole of Community" approach to resilience. Visit the Domestic Preparedness website to read other editions and register to receive an online subscription to the journal, free to qualified preparedness professionals.

Informational Websites

At-Risk, Behavioral Health & Community Resilience (ABC) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Emergency Web page that provides subject matter expertise, education and coordination to ensure that the functional needs of at-risk individuals and behavioral health issues are integrated in public health and medical emergency preparedness, response and recovery activities. ABC works to promote strategies for building inclusive individual and community resilience.

Community & Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) — Web site for CARRI whose mission is to "help develop and then share critical paths that any community or region may take to strengthen its ability to prepare for, respond to and rapidly recover from significant man-made or natural disasters with minimal downtime of basic community, government and business services." The site contains presentations, publications and other resources.

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Terrorism and Disaster Center, Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) — Web page with information and resources to bring community stakeholders together to address issues. CART is "a community intervention designed to enhance community resilience through assessment, group processes, planning and action."</p

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF).  The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.