How communities can build psychological resilience to disaster

Categories: Big picture
Published on: November 10, 2019

National Observer / Nicole Westman / 08 November 2019

As climate change makes natural disasters more common and more extreme, cities and communities are working to improve their resilience—their ability to withstand disaster, and bounce back quickly when it occurs. But disasters don’t just cause physical damage; they can leave communities struggling mentally and emotionally, as well. Working to shore up physical structures only tackles part of the problem, says Gerald Galloway, a professor of civil and environmental engineering in the Center for Disaster Resilience at the University of Maryland. “If a community can’t stand on its own two feet psychologically, all the work on having stronger buildings isn’t going to get you anywhere.”

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