Modifié le 09/11/2015

To be resilient is to have the capacity to maintain essential functions, the capacity of a system to cope with a disturbance by limiting its vulnerability to risks. For example, for a city or area, this means its capacity to absorb a disturbance and then recover its operations following this disturbance. The capacity to absorb a disturbance consists in managing to function as well as possible under downgraded conditions.

Thanks to the Business Continuity Plan and the Municipal Safeguarding Plan, it is possible to function in downgraded mode. These plans are drawn up by businesses and local authorities and enable activities to continue as well as possible during a disturbance and then gradually resume full functioning afterwards.


For the EU Sequana 2016 exercise, this means preparing a number of stakeholders in coping with an exceptional rise in the water levels of the Seine. They must be able to maintain their activity in this situation and communicate with each other, as the resilience of a territory is based on dialogue between the parties involved, given the inter-dependence of the networks (the RATP - Paris public transport - cannot function without electricity for example).

To make an area resilient, for example, town planning ensures that buildings in flood-risk areas do not have cellars, that secondary routes are usable in the event of a flood so that businesses can receive supplies and continue their activity, or that installations of vital importance are not installed in at-risk areas.

Finally, although the ultimate objective of resilience is to restore working order after a disturbance, a return to "normal" is impossible. Following a flood for example, entire districts will be changed, some businesses will not be able to resume their activity in the same way as before. However, being resilient transforms the area as although fewer people will be housed in exposed areas, they will be housed in a safer way, which will guarantee the security and maintenance of vital functions. And although a business will have to produce less, it will be sure that production can continue in the event of a disturbance, which is a better situation.

Being resilient helps to move an area forward positively and establish dialogue between the social and economic stakeholders. In addition, showing that an area is resilient helps to increase investment and employment as it proves that an area is ready for anything!