Natural disaster resistance

Resilience to the effects of natural disasters, in extreme forms of drought; water (flooding, tsunami); wild fires; earthquakes (and volcanic activity); and destructive wind speeds (typhoon, hurricane) can be designed and implemented.

Approaches are diverse: from prediction and mitigation, to resilient and appropriate design and management. This includes sustainable land management (SLM) and coastal management in the non-built environment and appropriate building materials, methods and architectural design in built environments.

Prediction can be meterological observation: weather and climate modelling; identifying high risk zones; forecasting; early warning systems; and geological observation e.g. monitoring seismic activity, water levels and flows. It can also include identifying natural geographic features and phenomena such as plate tectonics and volcanic activity. 

Mitigation can be evacuation plans and provision of emergency services; aid relief methodologies; relief programs and organisations; as well as designing flood catchment and flood defenses such as barriers and coastal defences.

Many prediction and mitigation approaches are large-scale and undertaken at national government level, whilst aid relief is carried out at a range of scales, from small and specialist NGOs and charities, to international NGOs and refugee aid, relief and rehabilitation programs.

52 Climate Actions has several practical actions: Design for wildfires; Design for high winds; Design for floods; and Learn to survive an emergency.

Group of people in a field discussing disaster planning

In this category...

Dry, cracked earth


Drought is a critical lack of water supply or availability. Causes include deficiency in precipitation, dry seasons and El Niño, and human activities which degrade and exhaust the natural systems such as deforestation, over-farming and excessive w


A range of construction techniques have been developed to help buildings resist the effects of earthquakes.


Choosing fire-resistant building materials, good building design, and the maintenance of a zone clear of shrubs, trees and other combustible materials around the home can protect against wildfire damage.

Houses surrounded by flood waters


Water catchment systems and water flow patterns can be protected and modified to improve flood prevention.