A resilient system has the ability to recover from expected or unexpected circumstances that threaten to destroy a system. The systems of transportation, housing, food, water and economic development and work force comprise the Plan for Opportunity and each have unique vulnerabilities. The Plan for Opportunity studied these vulnerabilities and developed recommendations and strategies to address them.
An important aspect of resilience for the Mississippi Gulf Coast is how individuals interact within each system. How people perform within a system strengthens or weakens the system, and that human interaction could effectively work to build resilience or increase its vulnerability.
Ultimately it was determined that a leading contributor of a poorly performing system was an uninformed or disengaged public. The recommendation is that people needed to become active stakeholders in improving the resilience of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This requires an increase in education and in some cases changing attitudes, but the success of this effort was directly linked to the resilience and sustainability of the region.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is becoming more resilient by creating:
- A foundation of understanding and knowledge of sustainable practices and the ability to implement those practices within a culture of resilience that teaches self-reliance as well as collaboration on a personal and community-wide scale; and the
- Community planning, preparation, and collaboration to develop and retain the ability to respond to challenges, adapt to changes, and thrive; and the
- Capacity, the will, and the resources to adapt to incremental changes or sudden traumatic events, sustain remaining resources while incorporating changes, and emerge stronger.