Many communities, systems, and child-serving institutions are not sufficiently prepared to meet the needs of children when a crisis strikes. A community’s resilience and ability to rebound from a crisis can be measured by its ability to care for its children, who are one of the most vulnerable populations in an emergency. By strengthening the preparedness and relationships between child-serving institutions and their supporting agencies and organizations, families and communities are then afforded a greater opportunity to lessen the impact of disasters and return to normalcy faster.

Through the support and development of Community Resilience Coalitions in addition to national advocacy, the RCRC Initiative aims to enhance local planning capacity, fortify relationships and partnerships in preparedness, and identify critical policy levers to affect systematic change to address the unique needs of children before, during and after disasters.

Building a Community-based Model, with the Community

Over the past three years (2015-2018), the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP), in partnership with Save the Children, funded by a grant from GSK, developed a community-based model of child-focused disaster preparedness. The first phase of the initiative focused on building long-term resilience among two pilot communities through Community Resilience Coalitions (CRC) and nationally through policy advocacy, and dissemination of the community-based resilience model and resources. The culmination of these efforts was a high-impact congressional briefing with bipartisan representation as well as the RCRC Toolbox, a curated resource of child-focused preparedness and planning tools.

RCRC Communities: Local Action

The RCRC Initiative, now in its second phase (2019-2020), is being led by NCDP to extend the model developed in its pilot phase into areas recovering from disasters. The reach has now expanded to include four new communities affected by hurricanes Florence and Maria, in North Carolina and Puerto Rico, respectively, to rebuild back stronger and more resilient with a keen focus on children.

A key measure of success utilized in this initiative is the Community Preparedness Index (CPI), an evidence-based measure of community preparedness previously developed by National Center for Disaster Preparedness for Save the Children. Collecting these data at the baseline and conclusion of each phases allows for an objective evaluation of local progress. Additionally, the initiative tracks the development and implementation of Community Resilience Coalition (CRC) Action Plans, and development and implementation of community-wide HSEEP-compliant exercises. Nationally, success is measured in the identification of policy levers and advocacy opportunities, as well as representation at national events and conferences.

National Impact

The RCRC Initiative also works to bring the perspectives and voices of the Community Resilience Coalitions to stakeholders among federal agencies that have a role in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, as well as national organizations and congressional legislators. Through agency meetings, congressional briefings, conferences, op-eds and media appearances the RCRC Initiative seeks to better inform policy to help create existing policy levers and create new opportunities to further cultivate community-based child-focused resilience to disasters.

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet

Hoja Informativa


Funded by a grant from GSK and conducted in partnership with Save the Children.



For questions or for more information about this initiative, please e-mail us at rcrc@columbia.edu.