Special Issue "Demonstrated Community Disaster Resilience"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Christopher Emrich
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Administration & Sustainable Coastal Systems Cluster, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: emergency management planning; social vulnerability;community disaster resilience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Disaster resilience has become a hot topic over the past decade, although the term’s theoretical underpinnings are well established. Resilience to disasters defined here as the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Enhanced disaster resilience must include some measure of adaptation or betterment than the pre-event condition. Resilient communities should have capacity to better anticipate disasters and plan for impact/loss reduction. Although foundational concepts can identify characteristics of resilience communities, empirical studies demonstrating community resilience following disasters linked to pre-event conditions are scarce. This Special Issue is intended to provide a suite of evidence-based case studies exemplifying community disaster resilience successes and challenges with emphasis on real world and quantifiable resilience outcome measures.  

Dr. Christopher Emrich
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Community Disaster Resilience
  • Adaptation to Disasters
  • Build Back Better
  • Capacity
  • Evidence based

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Resilience Assessment of Complex Urban Public Spaces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020524 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
Risk events frequently occur in “complex urban public spaces” (CUPSs) and cause serious economic losses and casualties. To reduce the risks and enhance the system resilience, this paper formulates a theoretical framework to assess the resilience of CUPSs. Resilience is defined as the [...] Read more.
Risk events frequently occur in “complex urban public spaces” (CUPSs) and cause serious economic losses and casualties. To reduce the risks and enhance the system resilience, this paper formulates a theoretical framework to assess the resilience of CUPSs. Resilience is defined as the ratio of preparedness to vulnerability, according to the implication of the concept. Three-level practical indicator systems were established for these two dimensions, respectively. Furthermore, a hybrid approach combining the Analytic Network Process (ANP) and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) was adopted. The Chongqing West Railway Station (the Station (W)) and the Lianglukou Rail Transit Station (the Station (L)) were used for a case study. The results showed that the Chongqing West Railway Station was more resilient to risks than the Lianglukou Rail Transit Station. Therefore, the proposed theoretical framework could be applied in assessing the resilience level of CUPSs. Resilience improvement strategies can be formulated according to the assessment results. Furthermore, the practical indicators could also provide references for urban disaster management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Demonstrated Community Disaster Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Term Solutions to a Long-Term Challenge: Rethinking Disaster Recovery Planning to Reduce Vulnerabilities and Inequities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020482 - 11 Jan 2020
Abstract
In the immediate aftermath of disaster, governments usually act quickly to reduce risk and to recover their communities’ socio-economic functioning. Policy makers in these situations need—but may not have the capacity or time for—substantial analysis and public debate about how to balance short- [...] Read more.
In the immediate aftermath of disaster, governments usually act quickly to reduce risk and to recover their communities’ socio-economic functioning. Policy makers in these situations need—but may not have the capacity or time for—substantial analysis and public debate about how to balance short- and long-term societal needs. Inadequate attention to this challenge may result in a deepening of the inequities that increase vulnerability to disaster impacts. We review case examples to illustrate how post-disaster policies may influence the nature, pace, and inclusiveness of community recovery. We then apply a vulnerability/inequity framework to conceptualize how to enhance disaster recovery and avoid perpetuating inequities when weighing the diverse needs of communities across long time horizons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Demonstrated Community Disaster Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle
Facilitating Community Risk Communication for Wide-Area Evacuation during Large-Scale Floods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142466 - 11 Jul 2019
Abstract
Large-scale floods have been occurring more frequently in Japan as a result of current global weather anomalies, yet evacuation procedures face several issues. These include low evacuation rates of citizens, wide-area evacuation by car, and residents who cannot evacuate on their own. For [...] Read more.
Large-scale floods have been occurring more frequently in Japan as a result of current global weather anomalies, yet evacuation procedures face several issues. These include low evacuation rates of citizens, wide-area evacuation by car, and residents who cannot evacuate on their own. For example, in the Kofu Basin, Yamanashi Prefecture, due to the size of the potential inundation area and a population that exceeds 300,000 people spread across 10 municipalities, a large number of residents would have to evacuate across municipal boundaries by car. The author proposed and applied a risk communication method to the Riverside District, Chuo City (with about 1400 households and a population of about 4000), assisting in developing a community disaster management plan for wide-area evacuation without a single victim in case of floods, which has been in place for three years. The next step was risk communication to key stakeholders, such as national, prefectural, and municipal governments. Finally, a public symposium on large-scale evacuation in the Kofu Basin was held. During the panel discussion with representatives of the Kofu River and National Road Office, prefectural government of Yamanashi, the municipality, community residents, and the author as panelists, the role of each stakeholder in area-wide evacuation was clarified and confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Demonstrated Community Disaster Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle
The COPEWELL Rubric: A Self-Assessment Toolkit to Strengthen Community Resilience to Disasters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132372 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Measurement is a community endeavor that can enhance the ability to anticipate, withstand, and recover from a disaster, as well as foster learning and adaptation. This project’s purpose was to develop a self-assessment toolkit—manifesting a bottom-up, participatory approach—that enables people to envision community [...] Read more.
Measurement is a community endeavor that can enhance the ability to anticipate, withstand, and recover from a disaster, as well as foster learning and adaptation. This project’s purpose was to develop a self-assessment toolkit—manifesting a bottom-up, participatory approach—that enables people to envision community resilience as a concrete, desirable, and obtainable goal; organize a cross-sector effort to evaluate and enhance factors that influence resilience; and spur adoption of interventions that, in a disaster, would lessen impacts, preserve community functioning, and prompt a more rapid recovery. In 2016–2018, we engaged in a process of literature review, instrument development, stakeholder engagement, and local field-testing, to produce a self-assessment toolkit (or “rubric”) built on the Composite of Post-Event Well-being (COPEWELL) model that predicts post-disaster community functioning and resilience. Co-developing the rubric with community-based users, we generated self-assessment instruments and process guides that localities can more readily absorb and adapt. Applied in three field tests, the Social Capital and Cohesion materials equip users to assess this domain at different geo-scales. Chronicling the rubric’s implementation, this account sheds further light on tensions between community resilience assessment research and practice, and potential reasons why few of the many current measurement systems have been applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Demonstrated Community Disaster Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle
Mental Health Recovery of Evacuees and Residents from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident after Seven Years—Contribution of Social Network and a Desirable Lifestyle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112381 - 27 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident resulted in the exposure to radiation and evacuation, which has created psychological distress among the Fukushima residents. With the provision of multi-faceted support and the progress of the reconstruction, their mental health has appeared to show signs of [...] Read more.
The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident resulted in the exposure to radiation and evacuation, which has created psychological distress among the Fukushima residents. With the provision of multi-faceted support and the progress of the reconstruction, their mental health has appeared to show signs of recovery. However, there have been few studies investigating their recovery. To clarify the related factors associated with mental health recovery, a cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted. Subjects whose answers were associated with Resilience, Recovery, and Remitting patterns of mental health status were categorized in the Recovery group, while those associated with Delayed/Chronic dysfunction were placed in the Non-recovered group. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, disaster-related unemployment (odds ratio (OR): 0.80, 95% CI (confidence interval): 0.65–0.99) and economic hardship (OR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.65–0.98) were associated with the hindrance of recovery. In contrast, overall good health (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.20–1.80), regular physical activity (OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.01–1.50), social interaction with friends (OR: 1.25, 95% CI: 1.00–1.55), and established social roles (OR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.14–1.82) were associated with the promotion of recovery. In conclusion, our study showed a positive association between mental health recovery and a desirable lifestyle and social network, particularly with social roles. Thus, the provision of active social roles can promote recovery related to a disaster as with multi-faceted support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Demonstrated Community Disaster Resilience)
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