The Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) is a volunteer-based effort composed of public and private sector stakeholder organizations within the Charleston, South Carolina, metropolitan area that have a collective interest in the resilience of communities, critical infrastructure and socio-economic continuity to episodic natural disasters and chronic coastal hazards. The Charleston Resilience Network will work to foster a unified strategy and provide a forum to share science-based information, educate stakeholders and enhance long-term planning decisions that result in resilience.
For CRN's efforts, resilience is defined as the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within the Charleston region to survive, adapt and grow despite episodic natural disasters and chronic coastal hazards. Resilience requires preparation and planning to absorb, recover and successfully adapt to these adverse events and conditions.
Statement of the Challenge
The Charleston, SC, region is home to more than 500,000 people and is one of the fastest growing areas of the country. The economy of Charleston is strong and diverse, with concentrations on tourism, shipping, manufacturing, health care, education and an emerging technology sector. Each of these sectors, along with the individuals employed therein, depends on transportation, water, energy and other critical infrastructure facilities for continuity, successful daily operations, and quality of life.
In the 25 years following the landfall of Hurricane Hugo (1989), many improvements have been made to disaster planning efforts throughout the region. Nevertheless, chronic and episodic hazard events will continue to challenge the region's ability to safeguard and maintain the infrastructure that is vital to economic prosperity and social well-being, given the rapid growth and diversification of the region. Further, without integrated planning and strategic intervention, the Charleston region's ability to absorb and recover from chronic and catastrophic events will be diminished. Effective long-term regional preparedness and resilience planning requires a concerted and coordinated effort among governmental entities, businesses and industries, non-governmental organizations and owners/operators of critical infrastructure.
The CRN will focus its efforts on building the resilience capacity throughout the Charleston region, including municipalities. The CRN will be structured to provide flexibility, transparency, inclusiveness and, most importantly, the ability to meet the information and planning needs of its constituent sectors and organizations. Engagement with the CRN is voluntary, and the information compiled, produced and made available by the CRN will be provided to all. CRN is dependent on the resources of a multi-jurisdictional and disciplined approach involving, counties, cities, council of governments, state agencies, the private sector and academicians.
The CRN's Steering Group is composed of representatives of stakeholder organizations from across the region. Members of the Steering Group serve as points of contact/liaisons among CRN organizations, other coordinating partners and stakeholders. The Steering Group coordinates the work of the CRN and facilitates and integrates complementary efforts, share best practices and refine stakeholder engagement strategies.
The Steering Group currently consists of the following organizations:
- The City of Charleston
- S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control, Ocean and Coastal Resource Mgt. (DHEC-OCRM)
- S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
- The College of Charleston
- Charleston County
- SCANA Corporation
- Charleston Water System
- Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government (BCD COG)
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection (DHS/IP)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
* Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may advise the Steering Group, providing technical expertise and publicly available information or resources regarding matters of mutual interest.
Municipalities within the Charleston region are encouraged to identify a representative to participate in CRN activities, as implementation of successful resilience efforts must occur at the local level. Additional Steering Group member organizations may be recruited to broaden representation from public, private and non-profit sectors. Organizations may also contribute to the work of CRN by participating in standing Working Groups.
The CRN will establish standing Working Groups to fulfill fact-finding, advisory and/or planning functions necessary for the accomplishment of defined goals, objectives and deliverables that align with the mission of the CRN. Each Working Group will consist of at least one Steering Group member and additional partner organizations.
For additional information:
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control
Director, Coastal Services Division