DOI: 10.3390/soc13080188 ISSN:

Resilient Communities in Disasters and Emergencies: Exploring their Characteristics

Carl Milofsky
  • General Social Sciences

This paper discusses the capacity of communities to be resilient in the face of disasters. This is the question of what allows communities to rebuild after a major destructive event and preferably to “build back better.” The paper lists six qualities of resilient communities drawn from the literature researching these events: organizations are flexible; they have strong leadership; there is strong community learning; they are effective at collective problem solving and cooperation; social capital and civil society are strong; and communities effectively engage with helping institutions beyond their boundaries. The paper relates each quality to social capital, to the ways the three types of social capital—bonding, bridging, and linking—are interconnected, and to preparatory methods that might be used to strengthen social capital so that communities may be more resilient.

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