Community resilience mechanism in an unexpected extreme weather event: An analysis of the Kerala floods of 2018, India

TitleCommunity resilience mechanism in an unexpected extreme weather event: An analysis of the Kerala floods of 2018, India
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsJoseph JK, Anand D, Prajeesh P, Zacharias A, Varghese AGeorge, Pradeepkumar A.P., Baiju K.R.
Date Published10/2020
Type of ArticleJournal
KeywordsCBDRM, Community resilience, Disaster resilience, Kerala floods, Social capital

Community actions have a significant role in disaster response. This study analyses the socio-demographic and satisfaction variables within community resilience in the context of the Kerala floods of 2018 and elucidates its gaps from the perspective of a developing country. The data from the self-administered questionnaire survey among the fishermen who were prominent amongst the first responders during this flood were analyzed using SPSS. Global literature was also reviewed to examine the status of community resilience and its effectiveness in holistic disaster management. This is an issue which has rarely been addressed in past studies from India. The results indicate that the majority of the first responder-fishermen had a primary educational background. They have participated in the rescue mission as groups without much previous experience, but felt high levels of self-satisfaction afterwards. These first responders were well aware of coastal disasters, but had limited exposure to disaster preparedness and mock drills. Although hampered by limited physical and financial resources, they could effectively utilize their social capacities during the disaster. The importance of bottom up approach in disaster management, comprising ‘Community-Based Disaster Risk Management’ (CBDRM) which can transform vulnerable communities to resilient communities is underlined in this study. The importance of the resilience of the local population, especially the fishermen community in local disaster response is highlighted, and the shortcomings in the current practices are identified. An attempt is also made to recognize and promote further potential through training, awareness and proper early warning.

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