Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering

pp 1-8

Date: Latest Version

Community Recovery Following Earthquake Disasters

  • Douglas PatonAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University of Tasmania Email author 
  • , Sarb JohalAffiliated withJoint Centre for Disaster Research, GNS Science/Massey University
  • , David JohnstonAffiliated withJoint Centre for Disaster Research, GNS Science/Massey University


Community leadership; Community processes; Community recovery; Resilience


The effectiveness and efficiency of community recovery following a disaster is shaped not just by nature and scale of the physical impacts of the event but also on how the social environment supports the complex and protracted processes of recovery (Olshansky et al. 2006; Paton et al. 2014). Recent research following a number of disasters has highlighted the complex nature of community recovery and the importance of not only strong local government capacity but also a cohesive system of public, private, and volunteer groups integrated into the community (Olshansky et al. 2012). Research consistently shows that community recovery from disasters can be greatly enhanced by ensuring that the preexisting social environment supports the recovery process.

Resilience in a Recovery Context

In a recovery context, a resilient community is one that can cope with, adapt to, and recover from the loss and disru ...

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