Getting the Community into Resilience Building

Getting the Community into Resilience Building

The need for municipalities, academia corporations, organizations, institutions, and governments to build community resilience and adapt to extreme weather and climate change is now strikingly evident. Ongoing events continuously reinforce this urgency and compel leading communities to proactively plan and act. This leadership on resilience is to be commended as it reduces the vulnerability of residents, employees, infrastructure and the environment, and serves as an example of what is possible for other communities. In response to this ever-increasing need and urgency, Community Resilience Building was created.   

Over the last decade, the Community Resilience Building (CRB) process has been tried and tested, and is trusted by over one hundred communities across six states that are now on the path to resilience.  The CRB process is rooted in extensive experience working with communities and countless partners. The CRB Workshop is a unique, “anywhere at any scale”, community-driven process, rich with information, experience, and dialogue, where participants identify top hazards, current challenges, strengths, and priority actions to equitably improve community resilience to all natural and climate-related hazards today, and in the future. The CRB has been successfully deployed across inland and coastal settings amongst urban, suburban, and rural communities as small as 1,000 people and is ideally suited to assist with updating FEMA – Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans and Master/Comprehensive Plans.

The core directive of CRB is to foster collaboration with and among community stakeholders that advance the education, planning and ultimately implementation of priority actions. This directive is accelerated via a carefully crafted, facilitated approach centered on a unique catalyst – the CRB Risk Matrix. The Risk Matrix structures the capture and organization of community dialogue and helps generate momentum to advance resilience building. The CRB Workshop Guidebook provides clear instructions on how to lead your community towards resilience. The Guidebook carefully illustrates the process steps and tasks as well as the “before” and “after” actions to help ensure immediate goals, outcomes, and strategic direction are realized within your community. The Guidebook plus everything needed to conduct a CRB (invitation letters, participant worksheets, facilitator agendas, summary reports from other communities, etc.) is available for download at

To assist communities with their CRB Workshop, one-hour coaching calls and half-day training sessions are available along with full workshop facilitation for a limited number of communities. Please refer to the contact page of the CRB website for all inquiries.


Dr. Adam Whelchel’s twenty-six year career in leadership positions has catalyzed partnerships with strategic direction while with government agencies, private firms, academic institutions, and non-profits in the United States, China, Europe, Southeast Asia, Caribbean, and Africa. Adam Whelchel is an author, facilitator and dynamic communicator called upon to assist diverse groups from around the world with team building, strategic planning, and community resilience. Recently, Adam served as the key facilitator on the Puerto Rico Climate Adaptation Plan and as a Lead Author for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. In addition, Adam is the principal architect of Community Resilience Building which has helped over 125 communities to date.