The Global Resilience Institute contributes to COVID-19 resilience-building efforts with (1) the launch of a new online course to help small to mid-size local enterprises plan for their recovery, and (2) by assisting FEMA and the six New England states on conducting a resilience needs analysis to guide federal assistance for regional economic recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the most severe national and global crisis since World War II. Around the tragic loss of so many lives, countless individuals, businesses, organizations, and communities are facing extreme economic hardship and an uncertain future. During this unprecedented time, the Global Resilience Institute (GRI) has focused its efforts on leveraging its extensive resilience expertise to develop and execute strategic initiatives that will contribute to a recovery where we don’t just bounce back, but we bounce forward to a more resilient place. Our two latest initiatives are:

New Short Online Course for Small to Mid-Size Local Businesses and Organizations: “COVID-19: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Restart & Recovery Planning”

In a joint collaboration between the Global Resilience Institute and D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, small to mid-size local businesses and organizations can access at no-cost, a new digital learning course that provides helpful guidance for planning reopening and recovery. The course also supports the recovery of local operations for larger multi-site organizations. COVID-19: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Restart & Recovery Planning,” has been developed to provide leaders of local enterprises with a framework and questions they should consider in order to undertake a planning process for successful recovery. The course also identifies the considerations they should take into account to make their enterprise more resilient in the face of future disruptions.

The course has been developed as a companion to GRI’s online course, “COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient” that was released in late March 2020. This earlier course has been widely shared with employees and students by major companies, universities and organizations, including the 45,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard. It provides practical guidance for individuals and families on how to stay healthy during the novel coronavirus outbreak and how they can safely assist others in their homes and communities. Both these courses can be accessed at no-cost at

Our hope is that our new course will get into the hands of as many owners and managers of businesses and organizations as possible. We are confident that the course will boost their chances for a successful reopening/restoration – and their success will be key to all of our success in recovering from the COVID-19 emergency. We encourage you to share this resource with your network.

GRI Undertakes a Partnership with FEMA to Support Economic Recovery Planning in the Six New England States

GRI’s expertise in disaster recovery and resilience has led FEMA Region 1 to place GRI under contract to support the six New England states in planning for economic recovery that also bolsters the region’s near- and long-term resilience. Under the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), the flow of federal assistance to support disaster recovery is informed by a needs assessment and is coordinated by FEMA. For COVID-19, FEMA has asked GRI to work with Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire in undertaking a rapid assessment of the economic recovery challenges for each state. The goal is to quickly align federal assistance from multiple federal agencies to accomplish two things: (1) successfully stabilize the economic fallout from the pandemic, and (2) improve long-term recovery and community resilience outcomes.

Since the COVID-19 emergency is unique both in its scale and complexity while also being of an unknown duration, GRI proposed to FEMA a novel approach for completing the needs analysis. We recommended that GRI conduct a series of interviews with key stakeholders in three representative communities per New England state – a total of 16 communities. These community-focused assessments examine the cascading impacts of the COVID-19 emergency to include healthcare, housing, food, infrastructure, education, labor, small businesses, and social and municipal services. When completed mid-summer, these community-focused assessments will provide an overall picture of the economic recovery needs for the entire New England region.

FEMA has embraced this approach, and GRI has already catalyzed and informed federal and state efforts to respond to challenges associated with housing, healthcare, education, broadband infrastructure, small businesses, tourism, fisheries, child-care, and municipal budgets. We are excited by this opportunity to contribute directly to the response to the most significant emergency of our lifetimes.

In short, GRI continues to blaze new trails in strengthening the resilience of communities, individuals, enterprises, governments, and networks and systems that support our daily lives. To learn more about GRI’s resilience initiatives, please visit