Federal Resilience Resources

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The federal government produces a wealth of resources that can help you understand, build, and measure resilience in the community where you’re serving. Most of these resources are conveniently organized in online portals. Most portals have advanced search options to help you easily find what you need. Here are online portals that you can search to find different types of resilience resources.

Economic resilience

The country needs economic resilience to withstand recession conditions. Communities need economic resilience to respond to the loss of an industry. Individuals need economic resilience to recover from shocks like being laid off or unexpected medical bills. As a VISTA, you are undoubtedly helping build economic resilience in the community in which you’re serving, and likely contributing to national and individual economic resilience as well. 

Check out these portals to economic resilience resources:

Get economic resilience technical assistance:

Infrastructure resilience

The resilience of physical infrastructure, such as housing, energy installations, and transportation systems, is a critical component of overall community resilience to extreme weather, disasters, economic downturn, and other shocks and stresses. Infrastructure that serves low income communities is often aging, insufficient, or unsafe. Assuming a resilience lens when planning for infrastructure upgrades for low-income communities helps ensure long-term solutions that can withstand changing conditions.

Check out these portals to infrastructure resilience resources:

Get infrastructure resilience technical assistance

Climate resilience

Communities in every region of the country experience climate-related hazards such as extreme storms, too little or too much precipitation, and extreme temperatures. These hazards bring both direct impacts, like coastal flooding, and indirect impacts, like increased food prices. Vulnerable populations, especially those living in poverty, are at higher risk for these impacts, and bringing individuals and communities out of poverty is one of the most effective ways to decrease that risk.

Check out these portals to climate resilience resources:

  • U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: Find resources and a framework to understand and address climate-related issues that impact people and their communities.
  • Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center: EPA’s Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X) is an interactive resource to help local governments effectively deliver services to their communities even as the climate changes.

Get climate resilience technical assistance

Tribal resilience

Check out these portals to tribal resilience resources

Disaster resilience

Poverty is an ongoing stress that is amplified in times of disaster. Building community resilience to disasters means empowering low-income communities to prepare in advance, develop plans that address their specific needs, and act on lessons learned during disaster events to decrease loss the next time around.

Check out these portals to disaster resilience resources:

Get disaster resilience technical assistance:

Coastal resilience

Individuals and communities in coastal regions are at risk from specific hazards. Coastal storms such as hurricanes and nor’easters bring flooding, storm surge, and the potential for severe damage. Low-income individuals and communities have increased vulnerability to these ill-effects, since they have fewer financial resources to evacuate, protect their homes, rebuild, or relocate to a less dangerous area.

Check out this portal to coastal resilience resources:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Digital Coast
    Communities that plan and prepare before a storm strikes are more resilient, and Digital Coast resources can help. The Digital Coast provides coastal data, as well as easily accessible and applied tools and training resources to support communities in these efforts.

Get coastal resilience technical assistance:

More information on how resilience resources can help your VISTA service

Are you wondering how resilience resources relate to your VISTA service? Here are examples of resources that can help you carry out activities you may be conducting in your service community:

  • Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration: Planning and Facilitating Collaborative Meetings is a free, in-person training led by an instructor from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • Education and Communication: "Risk Communication Best Practices" is a tip sheet that teaches you about best practices and techniques that can be readily applied to all risk communication efforts.
  • Building Capacity: Portals have variety of capacity-building resources such as grants and technical assistance opportunities. For example, this process for states, localities, and tribes to get technical assistance on energy projects from staff at the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Understanding and Assessing Risks, Hazards, Vulnerabilities, and Assets: Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH) is a methodology from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) that guides communities and local health officials in conducting community-based environmental health assessments.
  • Community Planning: Being Prepared for Climate Change is a workbook from the U.S. EPA that guides communities in developing risk-based action plans.
Agency Acronyms



Resilience Expertise


Bureau of Indian Affairs

Tribal Communities


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



Corporation for National and Community Service

National Service


Department of Energy

Energy, Infrastructure


Department of Transportation

Transit, Infrastructure


Economic Development Agency

Economic Opportunity, Community Planning


Environmental Protection Agency

Natural Resources, Health


Federal Emergency Management Agency

Emergency Preparedness


Federal Highway Administration

Transit, Infrastructure


Department of Housing and Urban Development

Housing, Infrastructure, Community Planning


National Institute of Standards and Technology

Infrastructure, Community Planning


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Extreme Weather, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, Coastal Communities, Community Planning


U.S. Department of Agriculture

Hunger, Natural Resources


United States Geological Survey

Natural Hazards, Natural Resources

Technical Assistance Contacts (as of April 2017)




Climate Resilience Professional Opportunities

Beth Gibbons, Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP)


Tribal Resilience

Rachael Novak, Bureau of Indian Affairs Climate Science Coordinator


Extreme Events Game

Keri Stoever


NOAA Digital Coast

Josh Murphy, NOAA Office of Coastal Management


Climate Resilience Toolkit

Edward Gardiner, NOAA Climate Program Office


Resilience Measurement

Sandy Eslinger, NOAA Office of Coastal Management


Resilience Dialogues

Melissa Goodwin, Resilience Dialogues Coordinator for Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union


Infrastructure and Community Resilience

Stephen Cauffman, National Institute of Standards and Technology


Housing and Homelessness

Kevin Bush, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development



Krystal Laymon, Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office, U.S. Department of Energy