Revealing resilience features: Analyzing informal solutions adopted in emergency situations
Community resilience
Informal solutions
Formalization process
Emergency responders
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license
Elkady, S. (Sahar); Hernantes-Apezetxea, J. (Josune); Gómez., E. (Eulalia); et al. "Revealing resilience features: Analyzing informal solutions adopted in emergency situations". International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 101, 2024, 104267
Emergency organizations have pre-established plans and procedures to handle disaster situations, but these formal solutions may not always work due to the unpredictable and complex nature of disasters. In such cases, emergency personnel improvise and adapt to new situations, adopting informal disaster response mechanisms/actions without being certain of their effectiveness. Therefore, beyond plans and procedures (formal solutions) it is crucial to prepare and train emergency responders by strengthening their improvisation and adaptation skills to implement informal solutions when unexpected situations arise. This paper aims to analyze how knowledge gained from implementing informal solutions can be used to enhance planning and preparedness for future events. To do so, semi-structured interviews with emergency experts from emergency organizations and authorities, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the private sector were conducted. As a result, this paper first identifies four critical factors that contribute to the adoption and implementation of informal solutions in emergency response: uncertainty, legal framework, stakeholders, and bureaucratic delay. Secondly, this paper proposes a formalization framework to better leverage the benefits of informal solutions for emergency preparedness. The framework consists of three components: 1) Informality drivers that push toward the emergence of informal solutions, 2) Formalization enablers that facilitate the formalization process, and 3) formalization barriers that impede the transformation of informal into formal solutions.

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