By Michel C. Boufadel, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology; Firas Gerges, Ph.D., Princeton University; and Hani Nassif, Ph.D., Rutgers University – New Brunswick



The New Jersey State Policy Lab has released a new report in collaboration with researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Princeton University which analyzed the current trends in disaster resilience quantification due to climate change.

This work also introduced a novel resilience quantification framework, combining community and infrastructure capitals, to measure the true resilience of areas effected by a disaster. Due to the shortcomings of existing tools, and following communication with various stakeholders, a need has emerged to combine two concepts, community and infrastructure, to provide a true measure of resilience. This new collaborative concept is ARez, a novel framework which can be used to measure the resilience of areas at various spatial and temporal scales.

ARez captures the role/impact of both infrastructure and community and combines five sectors: energy, public health, natural ecosystem, socio-economic, and transportation. The ARez metric has the potential to advance knowledge by moving the resilience research field beyond pre-disaster, static, and deterministic research, and into a new field of understanding community-level resilience by considering intrinsic values for resilience that can be dynamically obtained by observing the optimal operating conditions of various resilience-related attributes.

In addition, ARez provides a mechanism for capturing the impact of major deficiencies on the overall resilience. It can show that a power outage not only impacts the energy sector, but all remaining sectors as well. Similarly, not providing an underserved community with the proper support post-disaster would adversely impact the resilience of the whole region.