Community Sustainability and Natural Hazard Resilience: All-Hazard and Cross-Cultural Issues in Disaster Resilience

By Douglas Paton.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Increasing population growth in areas susceptible to experiencing natural hazard (e.g., earthquake, tsunami) consequences and growing vulnerability from climate-related (e.g., storm, wildfire) hazards has increased the risk faced by many contemporary communities. Recognition that these hazards are a natural part of the environment whose occurrence cannot be stopped means that one dimension of a sustainable society is the capacity of it and its citizens to co-exist with hazards. In this context, an important aspect of this sustainability involves developing the potential of people to be resilient and able to adapt to hazard consequences. This paper discusses issues associated with defining and assessing disaster resilience. It presents a definition of resilience and outlines a model predicting resilience that integrate person (outcome expectancy, critical awareness), community (community participation, collective efficacy, sense of place, sense of community) and societal (empowerment, trust) level factors. Comparison of data address community readiness for earthquake, volcanic, wildfire and tsunami hazards illustrates the all-hazards applicability of the model. The cross-cultural validity of the model is discussed using data from testing the predictive utility of the model in communities in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Japan and the USA. The implication of the model for developing resilience is discussed.

Keywords: Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, All-Hazards, Cross-Cultural

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.345-356. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.322MB).

Prof. Douglas Paton

Professor, School of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Douglas Paton PhD., C.Psychol. is a Professor in the School of Psychology, University of Tasmania, a Research Fellow at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, New Zealand. His research focuses on developing and testing models of community and organizational resilience that can be used to develop the capacity of people, communities and response agencies to cope with, adapt to and develop from their experience of natural hazard consequences. This work involves examining how personal characteristics, community factors and societal characteristics interact to influence resilience. The work has a strong all-hazards (volcanic, earthquake, flooding, tsunami, flu pandemic and wildfire hazards) and cross-cultural focus. Douglas is currently undertaking research in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, and Portugal.

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