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The Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART): development of a survey instrument to assess community resilience

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience, 15 (1): 15-29
Abstract: 

While building community resilience to disasters is becoming an important strategy in emergency management, this is a new field of research with few available instruments for assessing community re

silience. This article describes the development of the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) survey instrument. CART is a community intervention designed to enhance community resilience to disasters, in part, by engaging communities in measuring it. The survey instrument, originally based on community capacity and related literature and on key informant input, was refined through a series of four field tests. Community organizations worked with researchers in a participatory action process that provided access to samples and helped to guide the research. Exploratory factor analysis performed after each field test led to the identification of four interrelated constructs (also called domains) which represent the foundation for CART Connection and Caring, Resources, Transformative Potential, and Disaster Management. This model was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis on two community samples. The CART survey can provide data for organizations and communities interested in assessing a community's resilience to disasters. Baseline data, preferably collected pre disaster can be compared to data collected post disaster and/or post intervention.

Assessing Community Resilience: An application of the expanded CART survey instrument with affiliated volunteer responders

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
American Behavioral Scientist, 59 (2): 181-199
Abstract: 

This article describes an application of the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit Assessment Survey using a sample of affiliated volunteer responders.

The Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit Assessment Survey is a theory-based, evidence-informed instrument. Early applications of the survey identified four domains: Connection and Caring, Resources, Transformative Potential, and Disaster Management. The version of the instrument used in the current application added items related to Information and Communication, thus creating a fifth domain. The application confirmed the five-factor model and the instrument demonstrated good reliability. Affiliated volunteer responders served as key informants regarding community resilience because of their involvement in local disaster readiness and response. Home ownership and active membership in an affiliated volunteer responder group were associated with the total community resilience score and with multiple domain scores, suggesting the importance of community member investment and engagement for a community’s resilience. Although the study sample involved affiliated volunteer responders, it is likely that engagement in other community organizations and activities may yield similar benefits for resilience.

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