A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

The Role for State Governments in Community Resilience


The Role for State Governments in Community Resilience


Project Details


Survey of state officials in all 50 states to gauge the role of state government in the resilient community-building process, exploring state practices, reasons for state practice, and perceived effectiveness of states in helping their local communities. Development of the survey instrument for this study was informed by work by Pfefferbaum and her research team on the components of resilient communities.

Primary Findings: 

We find substantial evidence that individual state's responses to the events of September 11 were shaped by path dependent processes. The revised organization of homeland security institutions in the states was substantially influenced by prior institutional arrangements for disaster planning and emergency management. We were not successful in identifying patterns in "lessons learned" from emergency management and disaster response reports.


We surveyed all 50 states, using reviews of web materials and follow-up communications in some cases for an eight year period. We also conducted on-site interviews in two states with key agency personnel. We reviewed "lessons learned" documents from several jurisdictions.


Project Period: 
June 2008 to May 2010