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With the extreme weather many have recently faced, how well do you think your community could bounce back if disaster struck your area? Learn the two pillars that could make all the difference.

The devastating weather we've witnessed recently in places like Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have unfortunately served for the rest of us as a not-so-subtle reminder of how important preparation is for communities everywhere. Part of the pressure that comes with local and state governments is the responsibility each has to their communities to have reliable plans and resources in place and ready to uphold their citizens at a moment's notice. This is understandably difficult for many governments to provide, with restraints on budget, time and manpower inevitable for most.

Recent tragedies we can't look away from make it obvious to all of us, however, that we have to find a way to make proper preparation happen because we never know when it will be our community disaster hits. While this is a challenging issue each government must unpack for itself, there are two words government leaders everywhere should have on their mind when it comes to securing the future of their communities: sustainability and resiliency.

How These Pillars Protect Your People

Sustainability in terms of government means resources and methods of using those resources are continuous. It means your community will be able to be supported without resources breaking down or running out, whether it be your equipment, infrastructure, agriculture, conservation practices or anything else your government or its citizens rely on. A sustainable government is one that's been built to be a wheel that won't suddenly stop turning.

Resiliency refers to your community's ability to bounce back. How quickly and efficiently your community is able to pick back up after natural or man-made disasters and setbacks affects your citizens' lives at their most basic levels.

The Questions You Should Be Asking

How can you start making sustainability and resiliency pillars in the decisions you and your fellow government professionals are making? It starts with a few questions.

  • What are the mandatory assets your community relies on, and how quickly do they break down or run out?
  • Are your maintenance/conservation habits sustainable? Is the condition of your infrastructure resilient?
  • How quickly or easily do these elements break down or run out?
  • How well would your community recover if disaster struck?
  • What are you doing now to prepare your infrastructure for disaster recovery?
  • What is the next step to improving resiliency?

These are not easy questions, but as we've seen recently, they're essential to the health and safety of your community. With that as the goal, how can you and your team contribute to the sustainability and resiliency of the communities you serve going forward?

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