Modelling societal resilience to pandemic hazards in Auckland

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Paton, D. 2008 Modelling societal resilience to pandemic hazards in Auckland. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science GNS Science report 2008/13 17 p.

Abstract: Resilience refers to the capacity of a community, its members and the systems to respond to the significant disturbances to the social and physical environment created by large scale hazard activity in a manner that ensures the continuity of societal functions. A resilient society is able to draw upon its own individual, collective and institutional resources and competencies to cope with, adapt to, and develop from the demands, challenges and changes encountered before, during and after disaster. Because a pandemic will affect people and communities and societal functions, any model of resilience must accommodate the interdependencies between people, communities and societal institutions. Consequently, a generic multi-level model that accommodated the inter-relationship between these levels was developed to examine resilience to volcanic hazard consequences. The validity of the model was demonstrated when assessed using the volcanic impact scenario (Paton, 2007). This provided support for the utility of the model to act as a mechanism capable of assisting several aspects of natural hazard planning. While the validity of the model was demonstrated when tested against the volcanic scenario (Paton, 2007), a stringent test of the validity of the model requires that it is examined against another hazard. Consequently, the objectives of the present report are twofold. The first is to provide evidence of the validity of the model when tested against a second hazard and with a different sample of Auckland residents. For this, a pandemic scenario was selected. The second objective is to use the analysis of the model to examine Auckland’s resilience in the event of a pandemic. (auth/DG)