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Research needs and gaps for developing a risk-based framework for facility and community disaster resilience



Therese P. McAllister


Resilience has been defined as “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events”. The term resilience is applied to a range of topics including physical security, business continuity, emergency planning, hazard mitigation, and how the built environment (e.g., facilities, transportation, utilities) resists and rapidly recovers from disruptive events. This paper focuses on the resilience of the built environment. Its resilience depends upon the capacity of essential facilities and infrastructure systems to maintain acceptable levels of functionality during and after disruptive events and to recover full functionality within a specified period of time. Natural and man-made hazards in the United States continue to be responsible for significant losses and damage to the built environment. To improve the disaster resilience of the built environment to hazard events, each community or region needs a plan with performance levels and timeframes for recovery for its building and infrastructure systems. However, metrics and guidance for communities that want to develop a resilient built environment are not presently available. A risk-based framework for addressing technical gaps and research needs for disaster resilience based on two national workshops in 2011 and NIST research are presented. The gaps and needs include resilience planning at the community level, metrics for facility performance during and after a hazard event, and concepts of recovery and functionality. Examples from recent disaster events illustrate the gaps and needs.
Journal of Structural Engineering-ASCE


Disaster resilience, risk-based framework, essential facilities


McAllister, T. (2015), Research needs and gaps for developing a risk-based framework for facility and community disaster resilience, Journal of Structural Engineering-ASCE (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created July 30, 2015, Updated October 18, 2017