Technical Papers

Practical Resilience Metrics for Planning, Design, and Decision Making


Natural disasters in 2011 alone resulted in $366 billion (2011 US$) in direct damages and 29,782 fatalities worldwide. Storms and floods accounted for up to 70% of the 302 natural disasters worldwide, with earthquakes producing the greatest number of fatalities. Managing these risks rationally requires an appropriate definition of resilience and associated metrics. This paper provides a resilience definition that meets a set of requirements with clear relationships to reliability and risk as key relevant metrics. The resilience definition proposed is of the intension type, which is of the highest order. Resilience metrics are reviewed, and simplified ones are proposed to meet logically consistent requirements drawn from measure theory. Such metrics provide a sound basis for the development of effective decision-making tools for multihazard environments. The paper also examines recovery, with its classifications based on level, spatial, and temporal considerations. Three case studies are developed and used to gain insights to help define recovery profiles. Two recovery profiles, linear and step functions, are introduced. Computational examples and parametric analysis illustrate the reasonableness of the metrics proposed.