Improving community resilience involves ensuring all levels of society, from the community down to the individual citizen, are better prepared for and can more effectively recover from harmful incidents. RSD conducts social and behavioral science research to develop communications strategies to promote disaster resilience in U.S. communities. This involves focusing on enhancing communities’ abilities to withstand and rapidly respond to and recover from harmful incidents and adapt to changing conditions. A key goal is to develop more targeted and effective risk and crisis communications and clear guidance to promote increased resilience.
This research will inform technical policies, guidelines, procedures and best practices for rapidly sharing public safety information between homeland security and emergency management officials and non-government organizations. This improvement will result in the ability to realize more effective information-sharing capabilities between first responders and the public. It will include sending and receiving early warning signals, detecting and monitoring incidents and communicating relevant and actionable alerts and advisories to the public before, during and after an event to ensure the safest and most effective response and recovery.
RSD is addressing community resilience in two projects:
- The Community Resilience and Communications project will help improve the effectiveness of first responders by developing, delivering and evaluating a program to train local leaders on effective risk communication practices.
- The Countering Violent Extremism project supports the DHS intelligence, policy and operational communities in assessing and countering violent extremism. RSD is developing an integrated database to better analyze the threat posed by violent extremists. RSD is also looking at how former terrorists successfully abandoned terrorism to determine how best to encourage others to do the same.