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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Rethinking community preparedness: A relational approach to self-reliance
by Chen, Karen Kyfa, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2011, 386; 3489667
Abstract (Summary)

With the rising prevalence of events associated with climate change, natural disasters, environmental degradation, resource and energy depletion, and declining health, it is clear that communities everywhere are more and more threatened by global instabilities beyond their control. This vulnerability is further aggravated by a widespread dependency on energy-intensive infrastructure to supply vital lifelines and a loss of knowledge regarding how to meet basic needs without them. To develop resilience to these challenges, communities everywhere must cultivate at least a basic degree of community preparedness.

In this dissertation, a theory and case study of community preparedness are presented to assess the extent to which a locality is prepared to meet the basic needs of its members. Unlike the modern notion of community preparedness that considers only temporary emergencies, omits ecological ways of renewing resources, and fails to acknowledge and adequately prepare individuals to work with situations that threaten their complete and total reliance upon fossil fuels, this study redefines community preparedness by recognizing mutually reinforcing relationships between community members, their social networks, and their land base as central factors in maintaining an effective response to the changing availability of key resources. By fostering a deep appreciation for place, identifying key local needs, optimizing a community's network of resources, and presenting short- and long-term implementation strategies, this study provides a timely, comprehensive, and relational trajectory for creating relative resource security in our communities today.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Spretnak, Charlene
Commitee: Carter, Susan, Laszlo, Kathia
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy and Religion with a concentration on Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Natural Resource Management, Organization Theory, Sustainability, Urban planning
Keywords: Community renewal, Community resources, Disaster recovery, Emergency preparedness, Neighborhood security, Resilience
Publication Number: 3489667
ISBN: 978-1-267-09067-6
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