The Montana Department of Commerce (Commerce) led the Montana Ready Communities Initiative (MRCI) with expertise from staff in the Community Development Division (CDD) and a cross-sector of knowledge from other state agencies, a project to support community resilience in the face of natural, human-caused and economic challenges. The goal was to collaborate with a wide range of partners to leverage resources and deliver positive results that create an adaptable and vibrant future for all Montanans.
Resilience is the ability of individuals, communities and systems to adapt and thrive in the face of adverse events and challenges. Resilience planning is critical to creating an adaptable and vibrant future for all Montanans.
Commerce carried out MRCI through public listening sessions, data collection, and collaboration with state and federal partners to develop a Montana Resiliency Framework (PDF). The Framework provides helpful tools to assist communities as they work to ensure that long-term planning, projects and priorities address challenges and build resiliency so that communities are best positioned to thrive in all conditions.
By incorporating community resilience into existing hazard mitigation plans, economic development plans and other long-term planning documents, communities can integrate environmental, social, and economic sectors to proactively and holistically improve their communities. While the Framework considers Montana’s unique assets, resources, and communities, examples of other state framework documents can also provide insights into the development of resilient communities. Colorado’s Resiliency Framework and Vermont’s Roadmap to Resilience are two other helpful examples.
Adoption of resilience plans and actions can contribute to a community’s success. According to a 2017 study by the National Institute of Building Sciences, a $1 investment in mitigation grants or improvements to building codes can save a community $4-$6 in disaster losses. Factoring in additional data such as tourism, cultural resources, and physical well-being can increase the return-on-investment when resilience is combined with mitigation.
If you have any information relevant to resilience in the state, please contact CDD at 841-2770 or by email.