Natural Hazards

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 661–686 | Cite as

Success factors of enhanced disaster resilience in urban community

  • Jui-Sheng Chou
  • Jia-Huei Wu
Original Paper


Due to its unique geographic environment, Taiwan is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons that can cause heavy casualties and huge property losses. The effects of global warming have also increased extreme climate events and the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Therefore, disaster prevention/mitigation and response is not only an important government policy issue, but also an important daily life issue. To increase the awareness of natural disasters and the importance of community safety, the Taiwan government actively promotes a community disaster prevention system. However, to avoid over-reliance on the government taskforce, the spontaneous participation and cooperation within communities can complete specific disaster preparedness and reinforce local resources for disaster prevention and response. Although the concept of disaster-resilient community (DRC) has been shaped for a long period of time, community residents cannot keep pace with the government, which may decrease the effectiveness of DRC development. Therefore, theoretical and practical studies of urban DRC become imperative. This qualitative case study used the participant observation method to collect relevant empirical data by performing action research with self-reflection. Particularly, this article is supplemented by service work experience of the researchers in DRC promotion. A qualitative analysis of case communities during training in disaster preparedness revealed the critical success factors (CSFs) affecting the level of community-based disaster prevention and protection works. Based on the literature and empirical data, the CSFs are discussed through three spindle constructs: coping strategy, operations management, and organizational behavior. Finally, the conclusions and suggestions are given for promoting sustainable DRC.


Disaster-resilient community Disaster prevention/mitigation and response education Critical success factors Qualitative research Knowledge management 


  1. Aldunce P, Leo´n A (2007) Opportunities for improving disaster management in Chile: a case study. Disaster Prev Manag 16(1):33–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen KM (2006) Community-based disaster preparedness and climate adaptation: local capacity building in the Philippines. Disasters 30(1):81–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chou J-S (2010) Technical Report: the disaster prevention and protection project of Taipei City (first phase). Taipei City Fire Department, Ecological and Hazard Mitigation Engineering Research Center, National Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  4. Chou J-S (2011) Technical Report: The Disaster Prevention and Protection Project of Taipei City (second phase). Taipei City Fire Department, Ecological and Hazard Mitigation Engineering Research Center, National Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  5. Chou J-S (2012) Technical Report: The Disaster Prevention and Protection Project of Taipei City (third phase). Taipei City Fire Department, Ecological and Hazard Mitigation Engineering Research Center, National Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  6. Chou J-S, Lee C-M (2013) Integrating the geographic information system and predictive data mining techniques to model effects of compound disasters in Taipei. Nat Hazards 1–31. doi:  10.1007/s11069-013-0882-9
  7. Chou J-S, Ou Y-C, Cheng M-Y, Cheng M-Y, Lee C-M (2013a) Emergency shelter capacity estimation by earthquake damage analysis. Nat Hazards 65(3):2031–2061. doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0461-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chou J-S, Yang K-H, Cheng M-Y, Tu W-T (2013b) Identification and assessment of heavy rainfall–induced disaster potentials in Taipei City. Nat Hazards 66(2):167–190. doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0511-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elizabeth H, Meg B (1995) Action research for health and social care: a guide for practice. Open University Press, BuckinghamGoogle Scholar
  10. Geis DE (1994) Envisioning a disaster resistant community. Working paper (Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) Natural Hazards Research Symposium)Google Scholar
  11. Geis DE (2000) By design: the disaster resistant and quality-of-life community. Nat Hazards Rev 1(3):151–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Krueger RA (1988) Focus groups: a practical guide for applied research. Sage, Thousand OakGoogle Scholar
  13. López-Marrero T, Tschakert P (2011) From theory to practice: building more resilient communities in flood-prone areas. Environ Urban 23(1):229–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mathbor GM (2007) Enhancement of community preparedness for natural disasters: the role of social work in building social capital for sustainable disaster relief and management. Int Soc Work 50(3):357–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McEntire DA, Myers A (2004) Preparing communities for disasters : issues and processes for government readiness. Disaster Prev Manag 13(2):140–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McGee TK (2011) Public engagement in neighbourhood level wildfire mitigation and preparedness: case studies from Canada, the US and Australia. Environ Manage 92(10):2524–2532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Metri BA (2006) Disaster mitigation framework for India using quality circle approach. Disaster Prev Manag 15:621–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Miller ML, Kirk J (1986) Reliability and validity in qualitative research. Sage, Thousand OakGoogle Scholar
  19. Mimaki J, Shaw R (2007) Enhancement of disaster preparedness with social capital and community capacity: a perspective from a comparative case study of rural communities in Kochi, Japan. Suisui Hydrolog Res Lett 1:5–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. NCDR (2012) Capability Construction of Disaster Prevention and Rescue for Local Communities (In Chinese). National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction,
  21. Newport JK, Jawahar GGP (2003) Community participation and public awareness in disaster mitigation. Disaster Prev Manag 12:33–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Norris FH, Stevens SP, Pfefferbaum B, Wyche KF, Pfefferbaum RL (2008) Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. Am J Commun Psychol 1–2(41):127–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paton D, Johnston D (2001) Disasters and communities: vulnerability, resilience and preparedness. Disaster Prev Manag 10(4):270–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Said AM, Ahmadun F-R, Mahmud AR, Abas F (2011) Community preparedness for tsunami disaster: a case study. Disaster Prev Manag 20(3):266–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shaw R, Goda K (2004) From disaster to sustainable civil society: the Kobe experience. Disasters 28(1):16–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Simpson DM (2001) Community emergency response training (CERTS): a recent history and review. Nat Hazards Rev 2(2):54–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Singleton R, Straits B, Straits M, McAllister R (1988) Approaches to social research. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith TF, Daffara P, O’Toole K, Matthews J, Thomsen DC, Inayatullah S, Graymore M (2011) A method for building community resilience to climate change in emerging coastal cities. Futures 43(7):673–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Takeuchi Yukiko, Xu Wei, Kajitani Yoshio, Okada Norio (2012) Investigating risk communication process for community’s disaster reduction with a framework of “Communicative Survey Method”. J Nat Disaster Sci 33:49–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. TIATRP Team (2011) a future to live with climate change: deep cultivation of national disaster prevention concept (In Chinese). ThinkWave J (In Chinese), Taiwan Industry and Advanced Technology Research Project Team, 1: 18–23
  31. Thomalla F, Downing T, Spanger-Siegfried E, Han G, Rockström J (2006) Reducing hazard vulnerability: towards a common approach between disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation. Disasters 30(1):39–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Twigg J (2009) Characteristics of a Disaster-Resilient Community. A Guidance Note, pp 1–83Google Scholar
  33. Wilson GA (2013) Community resilience, policy corridors and the policy challenge. Land Use Policy 31:298–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yamori K (2009) Action research on disaster reduction education: building a “Community of Practice” through a gaming approach. J Nat Disaster Sci 30:83–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Construction EngineeringNational Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations