Resilience is

the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within the Charleston region to survive, adapt and grow despite episodic natural disasters and chronic coastal hazards. Resilience requires preparation and planning to absorb, recover and successfully adapt to these adverse events and conditions.

The Charleston, South Carolina, region is home to more than 500,000 people and is one of the fastest growing areas of the country. The economy of Charleston is strong and diverse, with concentrations on tourism, shipping, manufacturing, health care, education and an emerging technology sector. Each of these sectors, along with the individuals employed therein, depends on transportation, water, energy and other critical infrastructure facilities for continuity, successful daily operations, and quality of life.

In the 26 years following the landfall of Hurricane Hugo (1989), many improvements have been made to disaster planning efforts throughout the region. Nevertheless, chronic and episodic hazard events will continue to challenge the region’s ability to safeguard and maintain infrastructure that is vital to economic prosperity and social well-being, given the rapid growth and diversification of the region. Further, without integrated planning and strategic intervention, the Charleston region’s ability to absorb and recover from chronic and catastrophic events will be diminished. Effective long-term regional preparedness and resilience planning requires a concerted and coordinated effort among governmental entities, businesses and industries, non-governmental organizations and owners/operators of critical infrastructure.

TheĀ Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) is a volunteer-based effort composed of public and private sector stakeholder organizations with the Charleston, SC, metropolitan area that have a collective interest in the resilience of communities, critical infrastructure and socio-economic continuity to episodic natural disasters and chronic coastal hazards. The CRN will work to foster a unified strategy and provide a forum to share science-based information, educate stakeholders and enhance long-term planning decisions that result in resilience.

Charleston, SC flooding photos courtesy of SCDHEC/MyCoast