Scroll across for research findings and considerations for supporting disaster recovery.

Below, you will find outlines of ‘what we know’ from evidence about the role of financial capital in disaster recovery, including how it can affect wellbeing and interact with other recovery capitals. These statements summarise academic evidence, but they do not represent the entire evidence base. You can find original evidence sources in the reference list below.

You will also find prompts to consider when applying this knowledge to disaster recovery support efforts.

The recovery capitals are deeply interrelated – look out for the little icons which highlight points of relevance to the other capitals.

Labelled icons for natural, social, financial, cultural, political, built and human capital

Please share your feedback

The pilot ReCap guide was released in July 2020 for piloting and is a work in progress. Your feedback is most welcome up until March 31st 2021.

Feedback survey

Please get in touch with any comments or enquiries.

Contact ReCap

Re Cap Org Logos

This resource has been developed through the Recovery Capitals (ReCap) project, which is an Australia-Aotearoa New Zealand collaboration. The ReCap project is being undertaken by the University of Melbourne and Massey University in New Zealand, with the support of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. Australian Red Cross is the lead partner organisation. Illustrations by Oslo Davis. ReCap logo by Alana Pirrone and Oslo Davis.



  1. Stofferahn CW. Community capitals and disaster recovery: Northwood ND recovers from an EF 4 tornado. Community Development. 2012;43(5):581–98.
  2. Jacobs C. Measuring success in communities: The community capitals framework. 2011;
  3. Forbes D, Alkemade N, Waters E, Gibbs L, Gallagher HC, Pattison P, et al. Anger and major life stressors as predictors of psychological outcomes following the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2015;DOI: 10.11.
  4. Morgan J, Begg A, Beaven S, Schluter P, Jamieson K, Johal S, et al. Monitoring wellbeing during recovery from the 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquakes: The CERA wellbeing survey. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 2015 Dec 1;14:96–103.
  5. King A, Middleton D, Brown C, Johnston D, Johal S. Insurance: Its role in recovery from the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake sequence. Earthquake Spectra. 2014 Feb;30(1):475–91.
  6. Molyneaux R, Gibbs L, Bryant R, Humphreys C, Hegarty K, Kellett C, et al. Interpersonal violence and mental health outcomes following disaster. BJPsych Open. 2020;6(1).
  7. Parkinson D. Investigating the Increase in Domestic Violence Post Disaster: An Australian Case Study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2019 Jun 1;34(11):2333–62.
  8. Gibbs L, Gallagher HC, Block K, Snowdon E, Bryant R, Harms L, et al. Post-bushfire relocation decision-making and personal wellbeing: A case study from Victoria, Australia. In: Adenrele Awotona, editor. Planning for Community-based Disaster Resilience Worldwide: Learning from Case Studies in Six Continents. London and New York: Routledge; 2016. p. 333–56.
  9. Van Kessel, G., Gibbs, L., & MacDougall C. Strategies to enhance resilience post-natural disaster: a qualitative study of experiences with Australian floods and fires. Journal of Public Health. 2014;37(2):328–36.
  10. Dibley G, Mitchell L, Ireton G, Gordon R. Government’s role in supporting community-led approaches to recovery. 2019.
  11. Williamson B, Markham F, Weir J. Aboriginal peoples and the response to the 2019–2020 bushfires, Working Paper No. 134/2020. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Canberra; 2020.
  12. Ulubaşoğlu M. Natural disasters increase inequality. Recovery funding may make things worse. The Conversation. 2020 Feb 27;
  13. Himes-Cornell A, Ormond C, Hoelting K, Ban NC, Zachary Koehn J, Allison EH, et al. Factors Affecting Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Using the Community Capitals Framework. Coastal Management. 2018 Sep 3;46(5):335–58.
  14. de Vet E, Eriksen C, Booth K, French S. An unmitigated disaster: shifting from response and recovery to mitigation for an insurable future. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science. 2019;10(2):179–92.
  15. Banks M, Bowman D. Juggling risks: insurance in households struggling with financial insecurity. Brotherhood of St Laurence; 2017.
  16. Blake D, Marlowe J, Johnston D. Get prepared: Discourse for the privileged? International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 2017 Oct 1;25:283–8.
  17. Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Final Report Summary. Vol. PP No. 332. Government Printer for the State of Victoria; 2009.
  18. Tierney K. The social roots of risk: Producing disasters, promoting resilience. Stanford University Press; 2014.
  19. Thomas DSK, Phillips BD, Lovekamp WE, Fothergill A. Social vulnerability to disasters. CRC Press; 2013.
  20. Morrow BH. Identifying and mapping community vulnerability. Disasters. 1999;23(1):1–18.
  21. Aldrich DP. Building resilience: Social capital in post-disaster recovery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2012. 232 p.