Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction by Building a Robust Social-Emotional Preparedness Program

Shira Daskal, Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Gal Levy, Yakov Ben-Haim, Ronnen Avny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the progress made in understanding the characteristics of earthquakes, the predictions of earthquake activity are still inevitably very uncertain, mainly because of the highly complex nature of the earthquake process. The population s mental strength is of high importance not only to cope with an earthquake, but also to return quickly to functioning. Social-emotional preparedness for extreme adverse events and crises is a critical factor in the population’s quick recovery and return to full functioning. In the present study, we apply a multi-disciplinary lens to extend the scope of earthquake preparedness to include social-emotional programs. The goal of this study is to develop a robust “no-regret” social-emotional preparedness program (SEPP) along with methodological tools for evaluating the SEPP robustness against uncertainty in different earthquake scenarios. The research methodology is twofold. First, we develop the SEPP based on social-emotional proxies-for-robustness, and second, we apply the info-gap decision theory (IGDT) methods to assess the robustness of the SEPP in the face of uncertainty in different earthquake scenarios. The findings indicate gaps between the level of robustness of the SEPP in different scenarios. A key conclusion that emerges from this study is the need for a robust SEPP to make a significant contribution to the population’s ability to return to functioning. Such SEPP should be formulated to maximize the robustness against uncertainty in different scenarios, rather than the traditional planning based on a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Formulating a robust SEPP by analyzing the robustness of the SEPP against uncertainty will enable to make decisions immune to surprises. Ways to create or improve earthquake preparedness are suggested for policy and in-school application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5763
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • earthquakes
  • info-gap decision theory (IGDT)
  • robustness
  • social-emotional proxies for robustness
  • uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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