Disaster recovery is an intrinsic aspect of building resilient and sustainable infrastructures in the face of unpredictable calamities, both natural and man-made. Its importance extends beyond merely restoring services and structures post-disruption, focusing on comprehensive risk management strategies that encompass preparation, response, and recovery.
In the broader context, disaster recovery plays a pivotal role in advancing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to transform our world by 2030 through eradicating poverty, protecting our planet, and ensuring prosperity for all.
Among the 17 SDGs, a few in particular emphasize the significance of disaster recovery. For instance, SDG 9 promotes resilient infrastructure, sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. In a world where disruptions, from cyberattacks to earthquakes, can cripple essential services, resilient infrastructures become the backbone of sustainable development, ensuring that communities can rebound quickly while minimizing the socio-economic impact of such events. SDG 11 underscores the importance of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
Disaster recovery is woven into the fabric of this goal, as urban areas, with their dense populations, become particularly vulnerable to disasters. Here, disaster recovery isn't just about restoring the status quo but redesigning and rebuilding with a vision for sustainability, inclusivity, and resilience. Furthermore, SDG 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Given the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters, this SDG resonates with the very essence of disaster recovery.
Preparedness for climate-induced events, and the capacity to recover rapidly, directly correlates with the adaptive capacities of nations and communities. Essentially, successful disaster recovery systems support these goals by ensuring that adversities don't derail the trajectory towards sustainable development. Moreover, the nexus between disaster recovery and SDGs highlights the concept of interdependence. For a society to be truly sustainable, it must be equipped not only with the resources to advance but also the robust mechanisms to guard against regressions.
The ripple effect of an effective disaster recovery system is seen in various facets of sustainable development: from maintaining consistent access to quality education (SDG 4) and healthcare services (SDG 3) to ensuring continuous clean water and sanitation facilities (SDG 6). By linking disaster recovery to the SDGs, nations and organizations can foster a more holistic approach to sustainability, where resilience becomes as crucial as advancement. Disaster recovery isn't an isolated domain, but a bridge that connects the present challenges to a sustainable and prosperous future.
Sustainable Energy, Grids and Networks, Volume 34, June 2023, 101015
The Lancet Public Health, Volume 7, March 2022
Disasters are an important public health issue; however, there is scarce evidence to date on what happens when communities and populations experience more than one disaster. This scoping review identifies literature on the effects of multiple disasters published until Aug 2, 2021, 1425 articles were identified, of which 150 articles were included. We analysed direct and indirect public health implications of multiple disasters.
Introduction to Emergency Management (Seventh Edition), 2020, Pages 349-401
Progress in Disaster Science, Volume 1, May 2019
The “build back better” (BBB) approach to disaster recovery was first introduced in 2006 by the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former US President William Clinton. In 2015, BBB became the second half of Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, in recognition of its widespread use and adoption among disaster risk management practitioners, policy-makers, and researchers.
Disaster Resilient Cities, 2016, Pages 99–108