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Current Projects

Development of a model of community functioning during disasters: The CoPE-WELL model

Project years:

Focus area:
Preparedness and Response

Resilience Planning Pilot (PDF)

Project Description

Background: Practitioners and policymakers currently do not have a systematic way of assessing:

  • The current state of disaster resilience at the local level
  • The factors that contribute most to a resilient community
  • Levels of resilience among communities around the country

Purpose: Provide practitioners and policymakers with a tool to help:

  • Predict how much community functioning might be affected by a disaster, and the time it might take for community functioning to rebound to pre-disaster levels
  • Explore the potential effects of various pre-, peri-, and post-event interventions on community resilience, in a given community
  • Support and spark cross-sector dialogue leading to a greater understanding of what influences disaster resilience
  • Engage communities in strengthening resilience together 

Approach: Group development of conceptual and systems dynamic computation models to predict the time course of community functioning following a disaster.  Other aspects of the projects include qualitative and quantitative validation efforts, in-depth stakeholder engagement, evaluation of measures, and development of specific use cases of the model. 


  • Establish a county-level model of  community functioning and disaster resilience
  • Identify domains and subdomains that influence resilience
  • Identify measures that provide reasonable representation of capabilities or capacity in given domains 
  • Use a system dynamics approach to account for key interactions between domains over time
  • Evaluate the accuracy and practical utility of the model
  • Build a version of the model as a decision-support tool to assist planning

Meetings/Reports/Events: The CoPE-WELL team recently held a stakeholder engagement event to gain feedback from practitioners who may use the CoPE-WELL model in the future.  Additional engagement will continue with the presentation and discussion of the model at the Public Health Preparedness Summit.

BSPH Center for Health Security: Tom Inglesby, PI, with project staff at the BSPH Center for Health Security

Johns Hopkins University: Jon Links, Team Lead and PI, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH), and the BSPH/JHU CoPE-WELL team

University of Delaware: Jim Kendra, PI, and the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center CoPE-WELL Team

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Eric Carbone, Director, Office of Applied Research and CoPE-WELL Program Manager  

Independent Contributors: Cathy Slemp and Bob Burhans

Supported By: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins University




Our Mission

To protect people’s health from epidemics and disasters and ensure that communities are resilient to major challenges.