Articles | Volume 16, issue 7
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1603–1616, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1603-2016

Special issue: Natural hazard event analyses for risk reduction and...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1603–1616, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1603-2016

Review article 08 Jul 2016

Review article | 08 Jul 2016

From event analysis to global lessons: disaster forensics for building resilience

Adriana Keating1, Kanmani Venkateswaran2, Michael Szoenyi3, Karen MacClune2, and Reinhard Mechler1 Adriana Keating et al.
  • 1International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
  • 2ISET International, Boulder, 80303, USA
  • 3Zurich Insurance Group, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. With unprecedented growth in disaster risk, there is an urgent need for enhanced learning and understanding of disasters, particularly in relation to the trends in drivers of increasing risk. Building on the disaster forensics field, we introduce the post-event review capability (PERC) methodology for systematically and holistically analysing disaster events, and identifying actionable recommendations. PERC responds to a need for learning about the successes and failures in disaster risk management and resilience, and uncovers the underlying drivers of increasing risk. We draw generalisable insights identified from seven applications of the methodology to date, where we find that across the globe policy makers and practitioners in disaster risk management face strikingly similar challenges despite variations in context, indicating encouraging potential for mutual learning. These lessons highlight the importance of integrated risk reduction strategies. We invite others to utilise the freely available PERC approach and contribute to building a repository of learning on disaster risk management and resilience.

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Short summary
We present a disaster forensics methodology: the post-event review capability (PERC), which responds to a need for learning about the successes and failures in disaster risk management (DRM) and resilience, uncovers the underlying drivers of increasing risk and makes actionable recommendations. We analyse seven PERC reports and find that across the globe policy makers and practitioners in DRM face strikingly similar challenges. These lessons highlight the importance of integrated risk reduction.
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