The Dr. Jones Center Announces the “Small Business Recovery to Resilience Guide”

Over the past year, the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, in partnership with the North Valley Community Foundation and Wells Fargo, has worked with leaders and stakeholders across California to identify gaps and solutions for local communities to support increasing community resilience in the face of the increasing threat of wildfires. With the participation and feedback of social scientists, physical scientists, key business leaders, local city leaders, and nonprofit and philanthropy partners, the Guide provides science-informed tools to support small business communities move from “recovery to resilience” in preparation for the next fire season.

The Guide lays out four key areas of work:

  1. Collecting and using data and science to craft plans;
  2. Developing and deploying a “small business communication and education plan”
  3. Adopting pre-disaster policies in support of small business resilience; and
  4. Building the right relationships and increasing social capital with the local small businesses

These sections contain more than 50 tactics and approaches to increase the resiliency of communities– in this report, resilience describes the capacity or ability to anticipate and cope with shocks, and to recover from their impacts in a timely and efficient manner. Each community is unique, and not every tactic may be applicable depending on the different levels of community risk. Fundamentally, this work is about building interpersonal connections before the disaster in order to leverage the relationships in a time of shock or stress.

This Guide was created to be used by those in community leadership positions to support the building of resilience of their small businesses in California. From local elected officials and emergency managers to businesses and organizational leaders, those that care about the future of their community must act to support the resilience of their small business sector. Without a vibrant, resilient business sector, a community is more challenged in coming back, in defining itself, in being a place residents can rally around. Business districts help define local communities, and therefore are a nuclei for resilience planning and recovery. Small businesses don’t have the capacity on their own to prepare for disasters ahead of time, and with the increasing intensity and frequency of wildfires and other disasters, it takes all different sectors of our communities working together to get us through it.

While this Guide focuses on wildfire risks in California, the applied tactics and the connections developed will help communities build resilience to any disaster they might face. The improved communication and stronger ties between community organizations and businesses will yield benefits in times without disasters, as well. Just as planning for disasters is an ongoing process and commitment, The Jones Center will be updating this Guide annually as additional resources for small businesses and new recommendations for preparing for the increased intensity and frequency of hazards due to climate change are published.

Access the guide here: Small Business Recovery to Resilience Guide 2023

For more information, contact

The Dr. Lucy Jones Center Hosts “Recovery to Resilience” Symposium

On August 5, 2022,  Dr. Lucy Jones – in partnership with the North Valley Community Foundation – will launch a program to support communities across California to increase their resilience in the face of the Golden State’s most pressing natural disaster: wildfires. Addressing the imminent threat of fire and the devastating losses to our cities, suburban areas, and natural environment, her “Recovery to Resilience” initiative provides tools and tactics to help local community and civic leaders prepare for these destructive events. These approaches will help make sure the communities that define California are not lost in the next wildfire. This program is a partnership between the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society and the North Valley Community Foundation, in collaboration with Wells Fargo.

As Dr. Jones says, “As the threat from wildfires increases with the changing climate, we know that someday, there will be a fire large enough to sweep through the flats of the San Gabriel Valley or the East [San Francisco] Bay – this work helps all Californians identify the next steps they can take to recover faster when disaster strikes.”

“North Valley Community Foundation unfortunately has extensive experience in providing philanthropic support to communities in Northern California that have been impacted by wildfires,” said Alexa Benson-Valavanis, NVCF president and CEO. “Our communities continue to learn how to build the resilience needed to adapt to these growing crises. We are excited to continue to learn from our leading scientists and how our joint efforts build more resilient communities across California.”

Research shows that resilience building starts with the tight connections among individuals, and this applies to the business community as well. Dr. Jones shared that “those that come back faster – recover faster – are those with the strongest bonds to each other and with a pride in place. Without those characteristics, it is a longer road to try to come back. And coming back better is the goal.”

Known for her work in earthquake science, Dr. Jones has spent the last 15 years working with other natural hazards, focusing on the use of science to help save lives and property.  August 5th’s program launches with experts and leaders from around the State and across the country coming together to help define the specific actions communities need to take to support businesses districts and small business owners with research-based tactics that can be employed by the government to strengthen the sense of community around them. Dr. Jones founded the Dr. Lucy Jones Center to do this work.


Dr. Jones Center Launches New Podcast

The Dr. Lucy Jones Center is launching a new, weekly podcast called Getting Through It in June 2020 where Dr. Jones  will sit down to share her insights and perspective on the chaotic world around us. Dr. Jones will share how the world works, why you might feel the way you do about a particular disaster, and how you can manage the chaos around you that is real life. The topics range from earthquakes to other disasters that affect people, as well as the history of science and big disasters, and how through understanding why, we are more able to manage it and be more successful at “getting through it.”

While launching this podcast, the Jones Center is also launching a Patreon page where supporters can contribute to the Center and get early access and other perks for being a monthly supporter.

Getting Through It is co-hosted with community resilience expert and Center Deputy Director John Bwarie. The duo were co-creators of The Great Shake-Out and worked to create sweeping policy changes in seismic safety in the City of Los Angeles and dozens of other communities across California. For Caltech in 2019, Dr. Jones and John developed and co-led the Center’s Science Activation workshop and training program.

You can access the latest podcasts on the Getting Through It page and the full archive is available for supporters.

Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society Announces Founding Supporters

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release [download PDF]

Los Angeles – Upon the formation of her new non-profit organization, Dr. Lucy Jones Center for
Science and Society, Dr. Jones reached out to key partners to invite them to support this work
to serve communities in California and around the country.

With a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the
creation of more resilient communities, the Center depends on support from businesses and
foundations that are committed to serving communities that will be stronger and more resilient
with the information and programing provided by the Center.

The Founding Gold Sponsor is Simpson Strong-Tie, a Pleasanton, CA-based company
focused on creating structural products that help people build safer and stronger homes and
buildings. Simpson Strong-Tie is considered a leader in structural systems research, testing and

Founding Silver Sponsors include SoCalGas, the Annenberg Foundation, and
the Weingart Foundation. Each of these organizations has an expressed commitment to serve
the local Southern California community, especially those considered vulnerable or at-risk.

“Building resilient communities takes the efforts of all parts of our society,” explained Dr. Jones.
“These organizations understand the benefit to our country when we work together —
businesses, government, non-profit, and individuals — to address our shared risks.”

Though all founding supporters have been secured, there are other ways for organizations and
businesses to work with and support the Dr. Lucy Jones Center, including joining the Center’s
Corporate Resilience Council and sponsoring specific programs.

Contact: John Bwarie, Dr. Lucy Jones Center
(213) 247-3993 /