Identifying resilience in those affected by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake

Regan Potangaroa, Menjun Wang, and Yan Chang

Engineering Management Forum 2008. Erduosi, China


Risk is often mathematically described as Risk= Hazard x Vulnerability with the hazard component being largely the technically related aspects and the vulnerability being the more social aspects. The risk predictions from such a relationship were not being realized in disasters and it was noted that the adaptive ability of those affected by disasters significantly reduced the disaster’s impact. Researchers have been keen to understand the role of this resilience as it had the promise of gains in terms of disaster response that were more accessible and cost effective then those commonly suggested for “hazard” and “vulnerability”. However, the measurement of resilience is difficult, largely because of it’s time dependent nature. Quality of Life (QoL) models have been used previously in disasters but not to specifically measure resilience. This papers seeks to address that gap and uses survey data gathered during July 2008 from those affected by the May 12 Sichuan Earthquake, in China to understand the validity of such an approach. In addition, such a survey would create a “baseline” that other researchers and practitioners could reference in later recovery and reconstruction activities

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