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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-353
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-353
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Dec 2018

Research article | 04 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

A global comparison of community-based responses to natural hazards

Barbara Paterson and Anthony Charles Barbara Paterson and Anthony Charles
  • School of the Environment, Saint Mary's University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3C3

Abstract. Community-based disaster preparedness is an important component of disaster management. Knowledge of interventions that communities utilise in response to hazards is important to develop local-level capacity and increase community resilience. This paper systematically examines empirical information about local level responses to hazards based on peer reviewed, published case studies. We developed a data set based on 188 articles providing information from 318 communities from all regions of the world. We classified response examples to address four key questions: (i) What kinds of responses are used by communities all over the world? (ii) Do communities in different parts of the world use different kinds of responses? (iii) Are communities using hazard-specific responses? (iv) Are communities using a multi-hazard approach? We found that within an extensive literature on hazards, there is relatively little empirical information about community-based responses to hazards. Across the world, responses aiming at securing basic human needs are the most frequently reported kinds of responses. Although the notion of community-based disaster preparedness is gaining importance, very few examples of responses that draw on the social fabric of communities are reported. Specific regions of the world are lacking in their use of certain hazard responses classes. Although an all-hazards approach for disaster preparedness is increasingly recommended, there is a lack of multi-hazard response approaches on the local level.

Barbara Paterson and Anthony Charles
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Status: open (until 29 Jan 2019)
Status: open (until 29 Jan 2019)
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Barbara Paterson and Anthony Charles
Barbara Paterson and Anthony Charles
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Short summary
We analysed over 300 community case studies, and categorised and compared actions taken in different regions of the world and in response to different types of natural hazards. A global overview of local response actions can help local communities, policy makers and funding agencies to develop effective strategies to prepare for and manage natural disasters. More case studies are needed, especially from Africa, to build a better picture of the actions that communities are implementing.
We analysed over 300 community case studies, and categorised and compared actions taken in...
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