No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation thus face difficult fiscal, social, cultural, and environmental choices about the best ways to ensure basic security and quality of life against hazards, deliberate attacks, and disasters.

One way to reduce the impacts of disasters on the nation and its communities is to invest in enhancing resilience–the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Disaster Resilience: A National Imperativereleased by the National Academies in August 2012,  addresses the broad issue of increasing the nation’s resilience to disasters. This book defines “national resilience”, describes the state of knowledge about resilience to hazards and disasters, and frames the main issues related to increasing resilience in the United States. Additionally, the book’s authoring committee makes recommendations about the necessary approaches to elevate national resilience to disasters in the United States.

Increasing disaster resilience is an imperative that requires the collective will of the nation and its communities. As part of a year-long outreach and dissemination effort for this report, the National Research Council is planning various events and products to help raise the profile of disaster resilience in America and to support development of resilience-building actions across the nation.