Enhancing resilience and reducing vulnerability: lessons learned from past disasters

King, David (2007) Enhancing resilience and reducing vulnerability: lessons learned from past disasters. In: King, David, and Cottrell, Alison, (eds.) Communities Living With Hazards. Centre for Disaster Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 33-47.

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[Extract] Learning from the reality of disasters that have been experienced or which have been learned vicariously from the experience of other people and communities, empowers people to reduce their vulnerability and to enhance their resilience in the face of catastrophe. Unfortunately the process of learning is neither as obvious nor as commonsense as the drama and tragedy of an unfolding disaster demands. Lessons are not fully learned, the missing details may become fatal flaws in people's understanding of events, and reconstruction of events from the perspectives of participants, observers and analysts are necessarily piecemeal, driven by drama, economy and politics, un-contextualised and unique. Learning from past disasters is not a simple or obvious process. This chapter begins with reflections on perception; scale; emphasis; and place, in order to understand some of the diversity of disaster learning experiences. Examples of lessons learned from local, regional and distant disasters provide a review in order to identify issues, commonalities (within unique events) and those mitigative actions that may reduce each person's and each community's vulnerability to a range of hazards, and simultaneously enhance their resilience before, during and after a catastrophic event.

Item ID: 19779
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Commercial)
ISBN: 978-0-86443-752-5
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Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 04:30
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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