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  3. Resilience


DHS works with all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens to make our nation more resilient to acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters.

For more information on resilience, including continuity of operations and continuity of government, please visit the resilience page on FEMA.gov.

Foundations of Resilience

The United States officially recognized resilience in national doctrine in the 2017 National Security Strategy, which states that we must enhance our resilience—which includes the ability to withstand and recover rapidly from deliberate attacks, accidents, natural disasters, as well as unconventional stresses, shocks and threats to our economy and democratic system.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also recognized resilience in the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, which established a series of goals and objectives in the areas of critical infrastructure, global movement and supply chain systems, and cyberspace.  Further, one of the five QHSR missions is devoted to resilience: Mission 5 – Strengthening National Preparedness and Resilience.

DHS/FEMA Resilience aims to build a culture of preparedness through insurance, mitigation, preparedness, continuity, and grant programs.

Resilience in Practice

At DHS, operationalizing resilience is a spread-out enterprise.  It is mainly bucketed within the rubric of these concepts:

DHS/FEMA has a Resilience organization that aims to build a culture of preparedness through insurance, mitigation, preparedness, continuity, and grant programs.

The DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection’s Regional Resiliency Assessment Program identifies opportunities for regional homeland security officials and critical infrastructure partners to strengthen infrastructure resilience.

The DHS Office of Health Affairs is creating a Community Health Resilience Planning Template to enable state, local and private sector interests coordinate health resilience.

The Office of Infrastructure Protection's Infrastructure Development and Recovery (IDR) program works with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government officials and infrastructure owners and operators to plan, design, and implement solutions that enhance the security and resilience of critical infrastructure against a variety of threats.

NPPD is leading USG efforts to greatly enhance critical infrastructure and cyber resilience through the Integrated Task Force.  The Task Force is coordinating dual-implementation of Executive Order 13636, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, and the Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Presidential Policy Directive.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) coordinates with public and private sector partners to help strengthen the security and resilience of the nation's critical infrastructure through technical innovation across multiple sectors through technical expertise and targeted solutions.

Resilience STAR, a DHS pilot project, provides a Government-backed label for homes and critical infrastructure that are resilient.  Modeled after the EPA’s successful ENERGY STAR, Resilience STAR incentivizes stakeholders nationally through identifying the business case, or ROI, that comes with being resilient.

FEMA released the National Disaster Recovery Framework which was developed in partnership with stakeholders representing local, state, tribal and federal governments, private organizations, professional associations, academic experts, and communities recovering from disasters.  The Recovery Framework defines how federal agencies will work together to best meet the needs of states and communities in their ongoing recovery, by aligning key roles and responsibilities among all our partners.

Launched in February 2003, FEMA's Ready campaign is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.

Last Updated: 11/01/2022