Creating Earthquake-Resilient Communities

(Download this policy statement as a one-page PDF)

Adoption date by EERI Board of Directors: September 20, 2016

EERI Policy Position
EERI advocates for all levels of government to develop community-driven earthquake resilience plans and strategies of action that address a community’s building stock and associated social, economic, environmental, and lifeline infrastructure systems and that would lead to more rapid and robust recovery from future earthquakes.

Background
When disaster strikes, many communities are prepared to respond to the immediate emergency but most are not prepared for a robust recovery over the long term. Communities have been lost or stalled in their recovery because of a lack of understanding, planning, and long-term focus.

Community resilience is the ability to recognize risk, resolve social stresses, anticipate shocks due to hazard events, adapt to changing conditions, and recover rapidly from hazard events to a new and better normal. Communities become earthquake-resilient by developing and implementing a credible plan that contributes to long term community goals, assures the ability to continuously govern, and protects community well-being.

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. A number of tools, resources, and example plans are now available to help communities begin a resilience planning effort.

Needed Action
All levels of government should develop community-driven earthquake resilience plans, in conjunction with their other planning efforts. These plans must be holistic, give balanced consideration to the social, economic, environmental, and infrastructure systems that lead to a more rapid and robust recovery from earthquakes, and be translated into action by appropriate consortiums of public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

More information on this policy statement can be found on the full policy white paper: https://www.eeri.org/wp-content/uploads/eeri-policy-resilience.pdf