Planning for disaster resilience in rural, remote, and coastal communities: Moving from thought to action


  • Brenda L. Murphy, PhD
  • Gregory S. Anderson, PhD
  • Ron Bowles, PhD
  • Robin S. Cox, PhD



disaster planning, emergency management, community-based


Disaster resilience is the cornerstone of effective emergency management across all phases of a disaster from preparedness through response and recovery. To support community resilience planning in the Rural Disaster Resilience Project (RDRP) Planning Framework, a print-based version of the guide book and a suite of resilience planning tools were field tested in three communities representing different regions and geographies within Canada. The results provide a cross-case study analysis from which lessons learned can be extracted. The authors demonstrate that by encouraging resilience thinking and proactive planning even very small rural communities can harness their inherent strengths and resources to enhance their own disaster resilience, as undertaking the resilience planning process was as important as the outcomes.The resilience enhancement planning process must be flexible enough to allow each community to act independently to meet their own needs. The field sites demonstrate that any motivated group of individuals, representing a neighborhood or some larger area could undertake a resilience initiative, especially with the assistance of a bridging organization or tool such as the RDRP Planning Framework.

Author Biographies

Brenda L. Murphy, PhD

Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

Gregory S. Anderson, PhD

Justice Institute of British Columbia, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

Ron Bowles, PhD

Justice Institute of British Columbia, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

Robin S. Cox, PhD

Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


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How to Cite

Murphy, PhD, B. L., G. S. Anderson, PhD, R. Bowles, PhD, and R. S. Cox, PhD. “Planning for Disaster Resilience in Rural, Remote, and Coastal Communities: Moving from Thought to Action”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 12, no. 2, Mar. 2014, pp. 105-20, doi:10.5055/jem.2014.0165.