Implementing the Steps to Resilience: A Practitioner's Guide

Ned Gardiner (editor), Matt Hutchins, Jim Fox, Aashka Patel, Kim Rhodes
Posted on: 11/22/2022 - Updated on: 11/22/2022

Posted by




Through intentional outreach and engagement with professional climate adaptation and resilience service providers, the NOAA Climate Program Office publishes and freely distributes tools and resources to help communities throughout the United States understand and adapt to climate variability and climate change. The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT) is one such resource. Its Steps to Resilience (StR) risk assessment and decision support framework underlies guidance and context-setting for how and when to use climate information to make better decisions. There are myriad methods for vulnerability and risk assessment, decision making, measuring and evaluating project components, and reporting on adaptation planning and implementation.

This guidebook offers a set of procedures to accompany each phase of the StR so that professionals may compare their efforts and so that progress toward climate resilience may be evaluated on a national scale even while communities work toward their individual goals. The CRT team considers this guidebook a “building block” for climate resilience which can benefit the entire community of practice focused on climate resilience.

Climate service provision must greatly accelerate in order for communities around the nation to adapt and build resilience to climate challenges.2 This guide is written for climate adaptation and resilience-building experts so that they may lend their own skill while building local capacity for climate resilience analysis, facilitation, and guidance. We call these professionals “climate service practitioners” or simply “practitioners.” Over time, communities will build adaptation and resilience capacity among the ranks of civil service, engineering, and service delivery. This guide supports the expansion of climate service practitioners working within communities on a freelance basis, as part of a consulting team, serving the mission of a community-based organization, or functioning within local government.

This guide is intended for use by climate service practitioners in two ways:

  1. During synchronous and asynchronous training on how to implement the StR
  2. As guidance for practitioners working with a community to implement the StR

Climate adaptation is a multifaceted, diverse, and evolving practice, so a practitioner’s knowledge and needs will also change over time. This guide itself will evolve and improve over time in order to best serve the needs of practitioners.


Gardiner, Ned, ed., Matt Hutchins, Jim Fox, Aashka Patel, and Kim Rhodes. Implementing the Steps to Resilience: a Practitioner’s Guide. Climate-Smart Communities Series, Vol. 6. NOAA Climate Program Office, 2022. 10.25923/9hhx-2m82.

Affiliated Organizations

Established in October 2005, NOAA's Climate Program Office (CPO) provides strategic guidance and oversight for the agency's climate science and services programs. Designed to build knowledge of climate variability and change—and how they affect our health, our economy, and our future—the CPO's programs have three main objectives: