Leverage the reconstruction period to ‘build back better’.
A key element of long-term recovery from a disaster is repair of core services and infrastructure. The push to rebuild and repair can be used to increase resilience by incorporating resilience principles of ‘safe failure’, ‘redundancy’, and ‘flexibility’ into infrastructure design, and developing clear plans, funding streams, and expectations for ongoing maintenance. • Safe failure refers to the ability of a system to fail in a predictable and/or planned way that will minimize damage (e.g. dams are built with spillways in case there is so much water it overtops the dam; river levees have designated points where they will be intentionally broken to reduce the height of the river rather than risk the levee accidentally breaking in a high-value or inhabited area). • Redundancy refers to the ability of a physical system to accommodate disruptions through multiple pathways for service delivery (e.g. multiple roads into and out of a city; hospitals have generators for backup power). • Flexibility refers to the ability of a physical system to perform essential tasks under a wide range of conditions (e.g. schools are intentionally built in safe locations and in ways that will allow them to be used as flood and earthquake shelters).