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#ForewordFriday: Before the Next Disaster

Planning for Community Resilience draws on the authors Planning for Community Resilience draws on the authors' experience with Hurricane Ike in Galveston, TX. Photo by Patrick Feller, used under Creative Commons licensing.

From the Jersey Shore to New Orleans to Galveston, communities struck by natural disasters struggle to recover long after the first responders have left. We are used to believing that a catastrophe begins when the natural disaster strikes—but these events are actually symptomatic of underlying, chronic community problems. The authors of Planning for Community Resilience argue that addressing these hidden causes is the key to surviving the next natural disaster. And these are becoming increasingly common, as they explain in the excerpt below. Fortunately, with forward thinking and an eye to the resilience of all members of a community, cities and towns can buffer themselves from the worst of the storm.