Coastal Training Program - Jacques Cousteau NERR & Barnegat Bay Partnership

Risk Communication

Talking Community Resilience: A Beginner’s Guide for Municipal Officials about Long-Term Resilience Communication and Engagement 


Communicating and engaging the public is a critical part of making your community more resilient and prepared. Communities that have been fully engaged throughout planning processes are more likely to accept and follow short and long-term plans that are adopted.[1]

However, many local officials struggle with effectively communicating to their community and creating a productive dialog about preparing for coastal flood risks. Additionally, coastal resilience is a very challenging issue to communicate because it can involve complex topics and can trigger strong political or emotional responses.

This guide is intended as an introduction for municipal officials and others to learn some of the challenges and nuance of communicating about long-term coastal flood risks and resilience, how to start public conversations about community resilience and climate change, how to educate residents about what their community is doing to increase resilience, and how to frame these conversations so they are more effective.

Next: What is public engagement?

[1] FEMA. 2011. A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action. December, 2011.


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