Natural disaster resistance

Resilience to the effects of natural disasters, in the extreme forms of drought, water inundations (Flood, 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, such as sustainable land management (SLM) and coastal management in the non-built environment and appropriate building materials, methods, urban and architectural design in the built environment.

Prediction can be in the form of meterological observation; weather and climate modelling, identifying high risk zones, forecasting, early warning systems, and geological observation for example monitoring seismic activity, water levels and flows, identifying natural geographic features and phenomena, such as plate tectonics - plate convergence zones, volcanoes and volcanic activity. 

Mitigation can be in the form of evacuation plans and provision of emergency services, aid relief methodologies, relief programs and organisations as well as desiging flood catchment and flood defenses, such as barriers, and coastal defences. Many prediction and mitigation approaches are largescale and undertaken at the National Government level, whilst aid relief is undertaken at a range of scales, by a mixture of specialist and more general programs, from small and specialist NGOs and Charities, to large International NGOs and International refugee aid, relief and rehabilitation programs.

Resilient and approprite design and placement of buildings, settlements, infrastructure and vegetation can be undertaken from the individual and local-scale to national-scale.

There are many examples of building designs that are resilient to the effects of natural disaster. For instance Japanese building design has focussed on earthquake resilence for many centuries. More recent examples range from flexible and absorbant buildings, footings and foundations such as in taller buildings, to aerodynamic and low profile buildings.

Landscapes and planting can be designed to provide wind breaks and wind shelter, to absorb, deflect or collect high rainfall and water indudations. Breaks in vegeation together with trenches can also halt wild fires from spreading, minimising their destruction of forested areas, and protecting populated areas from becoming engulfed.

Construction materials posses specific properties, such as being flame retardant, or non-combustible, they may be flexible or very ridgid and strong, they may be impermeable or highly absorbant, materials can be chosen and employed specifically for these reasons. 

A combination of these and other approches can reduce the terrible effects of natural distasters, reducing the immediate impacts and loss of life, and the longer-term suffering caused by infrastructural damage.