Creating Earthquake-Resilient Communities Position Statement (1 pg, PDF)

Creating Earthquake-Resilient Communities White Paper (3 pg, PDF) 

Updated version adopted by the EERI Board of Directors: December 14, 2021

Adoption by the EERI Board of Directors: December 10, 2019

EERI Policy Position

EERI advocates for all earthquake-prone communities to develop community-driven resilience plans and strategies to ensure rapid and robust recovery. Resilience plans should link the community’s social and economic functions and services to the buildings and infrastructure systems that support them.


When disaster strikes, some communities are prepared to respond to the immediate emergency, but few are prepared to recover normal community services in a timely manner. Failure to recover these services promptly can be harmful to the community in the long term.

Community seismic resilience is the “ability of a community to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse seismic events” (42 USC 7703). Enhancing community seismic resilience reduces post-disaster losses and decreases community recovery time.

Achieving community resilience is an ongoing and evolving process that might take some communities decades to accomplish. Success begins with the development of a resilience plan that sets functional recovery goals for the community’s social and economic functions. Strategies suited to fill these resilience gaps can then be developed. A number of tools, resources, and example plans are now available to help communities begin a resilience planning effort, for example, the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide (CRPG)

Needed Action

All earthquake-prone communities should develop and implement resilience plans to ensure rapid and robust recovery from earthquakes. Communities should identify which resilience planning tools best suit their priorities and resources. Planning efforts of any type should engage a diverse group of community stakeholders, define community risk by linking critical social functions to the built environment, and set appropriate functional recovery goals for the community. Implemented plans should be evaluated and updated as needed.

More information on this policy statement can be found on the full policy white paper: Creating Earthquake Resilient Communities White Paper