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Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/su3010001

Building Capacity for Disaster Resiliency in Six Disadvantaged Communities

1
Department of City & Regional Planning, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 3140, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Center for Sustainable Community Design, UNC Institute for the Environment, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 6116, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3
MDC, Inc., Chapel Hill, PO Box 17268, NC 27516, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2010 / Accepted: 10 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

Disaster plans almost always do not benefit from the knowledge and values of disadvantaged people who are frequently underrepresented in disaster planning processes. Consequently, the plans are inconsistent with the conditions, concerns, and capabilities of disadvantaged people. We present an approach to community-based participatory planning aimed at engaging marginalized and distrustful communities to build their capacity to be more disaster resilient. We review the experiences of six disadvantaged communities under the Emergency Preparedness Demonstration (EPD) project. The EPD effort revealed several critical implications: recruit a diverse set of participants for inclusive collaboration; provide analytical tools to co-develop information and empower people; employ coaches to organize and facilitate sustainable community change; design a bottom-up review process for selection of strategies that holds communities accountable; and build capacity for implementation of strategies.
Keywords: disaster planning; resiliency; disadvantaged communities; social vulnerability disaster planning; resiliency; disadvantaged communities; social vulnerability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Berke, P.; Cooper, J.; Salvesen, D.; Spurlock, D.; Rausch, C. Building Capacity for Disaster Resiliency in Six Disadvantaged Communities. Sustainability 2011, 3, 1-20.

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