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A Review of the Literature on Community Resilience and Disaster Recovery

  • Environmental Disasters (D Sandler and A Miller, Section Editors)
  • Published:
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Purpose of Review

The concept of resilience continues to grow in influence and prominence in national and international programs seeking to improve individual and collective capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters. This review of the literature published in 2018 examines how disaster scholars and professionals are conceptualizing and applying the concept of community disaster resilience.

Recent Findings

Three trends in the literature on community disaster resilience are observed: (1) advancements in the measurement of resilience continue to refine the concept and its related mechanisms using both primary and secondary data, (2) social capital continues to be a central mechanism through which community resilience reduces disaster impact and enhances recovery, and (3) programs across the globe are advancing the practice of improving resilience through community interventions to enhancing adaptive capacities.


Community disaster resilience offers much promise as a guiding paradigm for the promotion of disaster risk reduction and the enabling of disaster recovery through attention to, and investment in, local capacities for adaptation to a changing and uncertain environment. However, there remains work to be done in the clarification of the concept and the operationalization of the mechanisms leading to enhancing community capacity for resilience.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Brian Mayer.

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Mayer, B. A Review of the Literature on Community Resilience and Disaster Recovery. Curr Envir Health Rpt 6, 167–173 (2019).

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