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Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chosen to Help Set the Standard for Resilient Communities

Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chosen to Help Set the Standard for Resilient Communities

Annapolis, MD (9-16-11) Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announces the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County are among seven leading communities from across the United States taking part in a pilot program making Annapolis more prepared and resilient in the face of disaster.

Both Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have been selected to be part of the National Community Resilience Project’s Pilot Program and have been offered technical assistance from the Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI) to help in their efforts. The City and County will also receive support from Ready Chesapeake, a group of local business and community leaders whose mission is to support the community and help them recover as quickly as possible from a natural or manmade disaster.  

The goal of the resilience project is to create a model for the state that does not rely solely on the public sector to prepare for all emergencies, but involves the private sector. The project empowers businesses to protect their investments and their communities.

“I am grateful that Annapolis has been chosen as one of seven leading communities across the country for this pilot initiative to strengthen our community’s resilience in recovering from disaster,” Mayor Cohen said.  “By learning from other communities and developing best practices, we can enhance our citizens’ preparedness and resilience to get things back to normal as quickly as possibly after disaster strikes.”

City and county emergency management offices recognize that government needs community partners to protect the infrastructure of the county’s and city's 15,500 businesses.  They also understand that community participation in disaster recovery is essential.

“Over the last 10 years, our State has become better prepared, and in the years ahead we must work to become more resilient,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.  “In a more resilient Maryland, our citizens are better prepared when disaster strikes and they are able to recover more quickly. I am pleased that the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County are leading the way in demonstrating that our communities can and must be more resilient in the face of disaster.” 

The project was developed by studying the attributes of communities who bounced back quickly after experiencing disasters and by drawing on the expertise of three work groups. One of the study groups was made up of community representatives, including former Mayor Ellen Moyer of Annapolis. 

"It is a source of great pride that Anne Arundel County has been successful in dealing with whatever emergencies have occurred," County Executive Leopold said. "Our priorities include disseminating timely and accurate information, mobilizing resources effectively and training our employees and the public in advance of major events."

At the 9/11 10th Anniversary Remembrance, Renewal, Resilience Summit in Washington D.C., Mayor Josh Cohen along with City Manager Mike Mallinoff, Director of Services and ADA Coordinator Gail Smith, City Council Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson and Emergency Management Director Kevin Simmons were in attendance when the seven mayors of the pilot communities were asked to make a “public commitment” to being the lead cities.

The other communities nationwide participating in the project include:
•   Anaheim, CA
•   Greenwich, CT 
•   Gulfport, MS 
•   Charleston & the Low Country Region (Charleston, Berkeley, & Dorchester Counties), SC 
•   City of Mt. Juliet & Wilson County, TN 
•   Gadsden, AL