Measuring Recovery from Extreme Weather Events

Orr, Paula and Morse-Jones, Sian and Jones, Rebecca and White, Christopher and Mannix, Nicholas (2021) Measuring Recovery from Extreme Weather Events. ClimateXChange, Edinburgh. (

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This study investigates international approaches to assessing recovery from extreme weather events, the data sources underpinning them, and their applicability to Scotland. It seeks to enable a common understanding of climate resilience and the critical components in planning for local and national recovery from extreme weather. This provides a starting point for developing a systematic approach to monitoring recovery from extreme weather events in Scotland. A lack of national targets and data to measure recovery from extreme and/or repeated climate related events has been identified as an area of ‘high concern’ in the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) assessments of the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP). The CCC’s assessments note that some positive actions have taken place to improve recovery capabilities, but that barriers to efficient recovery remain: lack of national targets for recovery from extreme weather events, and a lack of evidence on the impacts of extreme weather events on people, and on the effectiveness of recovery plans. This report aims to respond to this concern by reviewing international approaches to monitoring recovery to identify examples of best practice relevant for developing a set of indicators for Scotland. It is hoped that a systematic approach to measuring recovery will benefit resilience planning, and be part of improving how well and how quickly communities recover. We focused on systems used in other parts of the UK and Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand, as these countries and regions have political structures and cultures similar to Scotland’s. In analysing these examples we consider how an indicator framework can fit in with and contribute to the National Performance Framework (NPF), Preparing Scotland and the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme4 (SCCAP).