introduction to this report. In view of the important stimulus to earthquake mitigation activities provided by NEHRP and its substantial record of achievements, the committee endorses the 2008 NEHRP Strategic Plan and identifies 18 specific task elements required to implement that plan and materially improve national earthquake resilience.
Defining Earthquake Resilience
A critical requirement for achieving national earthquake resilience is, of course, an understanding of what constitutes earthquake resilience. In this report, we have interpreted resilience broadly so that it incorporates engineering/science (physical), social/economic (behavioral), and institutional (governing) dimensions. Resilience is also interpreted to encompass both pre- and post-disaster actions that, in combination, will enhance the robustness and the capabilities of all earthquake-vulnerable regions of our nation to function well following likely, significant earthquakes. The committee is also cognizant that it is cost-prohibitive to achieve a completely seismically resistant nation. Instead, we see our mission as helping set performance targets for improving the nation’s seismic resilience over the next 20 years and, in turn, developing a more detailed roadmap and program priorities for NEHRP. With these considerations in mind, the committee recommends that NEHRP adopt the following working definition for “national earthquake resilience”:
A disaster-resilient nation is one in which its communities, through mitigation and pre-disaster preparation, develop the adaptive capacity to maintain important community functions and recover quickly when major disasters occur.
No standard metric exists for measuring disaster resilience, and it is clear that standardized methods would be helpful for gauging improvements in resilience as a result of disaster risk reduction planning and mitigation. However, because the concept of resilience is specific to the context of the specific community and its goals, it can be expected that no single measure will be able to capture it sufficiently. No one resilience indicator can suit all purposes, and different measurement approaches may be appropriate in different contexts for assessing current levels of disaster resilience and incremental progress in developing resilience.
Elements and Costs of a Resilience Roadmap
To provide a sound basis for future activities, the NEHRP agencies—under the leadership of the National Institute of Standards and