GIS-based approach for evaluating a community intrinsic resilience index

Firas Gerges, Hani Nassif, Xiaolong Geng, Holly A. Michael, Michel C. Boufadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Community resilience refers to the degree to which a community can survive and recover following a disaster. While resilience itself is well understood, decisions that would enhance resilience are interdependent and involve various stakeholders. There are indices for evaluating community resilience, but these have the shortcoming that they compare between political entities, such as counties. Therefore, one cannot ascertain that a county is truly resilient. In addition, natural disasters depend on the landscape and thus have no relation to the political boundaries. Our metric aims to capture the information into a Community Intrinsic Resilience Index (CIRI), which embodies the resilience level of four critical sectors: transportation, energy, health and socio-economic. As a case study, we computed CIRI for the counties within New Jersey. Results showed that within NJ, CIRI ranged from 63 to 80%. A post-disaster CIRI, following a scenario of flooding, revealed that two coastal counties would have low CIRI values due to the reduction in the road area and/or the GDP (local economy shut down) to below minimum values. We believe that our platform would further advance the efforts to fill the gap between resilience research and applications and would help decision and policy makers to integrate resilience within the planning and design phases of disaster management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1299
Number of pages29
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Climate change
  • GIS
  • Natural hazards
  • Resilience
  • Risk management
  • Vulnerability


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