Community Health Resilience: A Description

Regardless of the event, a community's ability to successfully return to a "new normal" is based on its resilience, or its capacity to withstand, respond positively to, adapt, and recover expeditiously from a crisis or adversity.

To date, there is no single-definition accepted for community resilience or CHR. In addition, the term resilience has different meanings depending on the professional function or discipline (e.g., sociologists, engineers, or emergency managers). Although there is no agreed definition, there are useful descriptions of both community resilience and CHR.

Useful descriptions include

"The ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions, including deliberate attacks, accidents, or natural occurring threats and incidents."

"The ongoing and developing capacity of the community to account for its vulnerabilities and develop capabilities that aid that community in (1) preventing, withstanding, and mitigating the stress of a health incident; (2) recovering in a way that restores the community to a state of self-sufficiency and at least the same level of health and social functioning after a health incident; and (3) using knowledge from a past response to strengthen the community's ability to withstand the next health incident."

"CHR is the ability of a community to use its assets to strengthen public health and healthcare systems and to improve the community's physical, behavioral, and social health to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity."