Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Regional Resilience Based on Natural Disasters

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Regional Resilience Based on Natural Disasters

Article excerpt


This paper analyses the concept of resilience, and summarizes the regional differences of recovery performances and innovations when coping with crisis. Taking flood as an example, constructing conceptual model of resilience with analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method, we get five of the most important indicators in a crisis: the government's credibility, crisis experience, medical and health level, population density and informal organization. Thereby this paper provides information support for government decision-making before and after the crisis.

Key words: Crisis; Flood; Resilience; AHP


Series of crisis indicate that China has been the age of crisis .Whether a natural disaster or sudden events, each crisis events has posed a great threat to the security and stability of our society. Among those crises, the destructive power of natural disasters on the social system is often extremely shocking. Domestic natural disasters occur more frequently, and flood is one of the most common natural disasters (Wang & Peng, 1998). In 2012, all of 31 provinces (area, city) were suffered from flood disaster, causing the direct economic loss of 267.5 billions yuan. Minister of water resources Chen Lei pointed out that many problems was exposed in the process of flood relief. For example, facilities for flood control and drainage are weak, attention to the flood prevention is insufficient, flood management lags behind, and collective consciousness is not enough. These are performance of lack of flexibility to flood disaster in areas. A macro understanding of the bear and the recovery ability of the affected area before natural disasters is beneficial to crisis prevention beforehand, rescue, and repair afterwards to develop more effective measures.

The most important core concepts in IHDP are resilience, vulnerability and adaptation (Fang & Yin, 2007). The social elasticity is used to measure comprehensive performance of the social group facing all kinds of crises. Resilience Alliance's definition of resilient region is the ability that city system can absorb the outside interference, while maintain the original features and structure and key performance (Alliance, 2007). The resilient region not only requests adjustment of itself to has ability to cope with various negative uncertainty and unexpected events, but also need to be able to transform those negative opportunities into available resources (Berkes, Colding, & Folke, 2003).

ISDR defined that resilience of organize is that a group or society's ability to stand up to the crisis, or change for a better operating to adapt to the new environment, which decided by self organization, learning and adaptation ability, including recovery ability to the state of crisis (Handmer, 2003). Therefore, resilience includes organizational performance of aspects in face of crisis: resistance, recovery, creativity (In this paper, recovery is the ability that the area with social characteristics restores in a relatively short time, not self repair ability in long cycle of ecological system). This is the three system property what Kimhi and Shamai agreed to reflect the resilience (Maguire & Hagan, 2007) (As shown in Figure 1).

Resistance refers to the maximum degree of disaster that regional can withstand. As shown in the picture: compared with area which is lack of resistance, region with resistance is more difficult to be destroyed in the disaster, and have the opportunity to continue to operate in a new state. Recovery is the speed restoring to the original operation after attack. In general, the region will always restore from affected state slowly and adjust to back to original state after disaster, but length of period needed in areas with different recovery is not the same. Creativity means that the affected area not only could restore to the original state within a certain period of time, but also learn a lot and get a better operational level than before by reasonable control and guidance. …

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