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Implementing Disaster Policy: Exploring Scale and Measurement Schemes for Disaster Resilience


Resilience measurement continues to be a meeting ground between policy makers and academics. However, there are inherent limitations in measuring disaster resilience. For example, resilience indicators produced by FEMA and one produced by an independent academic group (BRIC) measure community resilience by defining and quantifying community resilience at a national level, but they each have a different conceptual model of the resilience concept. The FEMA approach focuses on measuring resilience capacity based on preparedness capabilities embodied in the National Preparedness Goals at state and county scales. BRIC examines community (spatially defined as county) components (or capitals) that influence resilience and provides a baseline of pre-existing resilience in places to enable periodic updates to measure resilience improvements. Using these two approaches as examples, this paper examines the differences and similarities in these two approaches in terms of the conceptual framing, data resolution, and representation and the resultant statistical and spatial differences in outcomes. Users of resilience measurement tools need to be keenly aware of the conceptual framing, input data, and geographic scale of any schema before implementation as these parameters can and do make a difference in the outcome even when they claim to be measuring the same concept.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Cutter, Susan L. and Sahar Derakhshan. 2019. "Implementing Disaster Policy: Exploring Scale and Measurement Schemes for Disaster Resilience." Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (May). https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jhsem.ahead-of-print/jhsem-2018-0029/jhsem-2018-0029.xml

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