The objective of this article is to discuss a needed paradigm shift in disaster risk analysis to emphasize the role of the workforce in managing the recovery of interdependent infrastructure and economic systems. Much of the work that has been done on disaster risk analysis has focused primarily on preparedness and recovery strategies for disrupted infrastructure systems. The reliability of systems such as transportation, electric power, and telecommunications is crucial in sustaining business processes, supply chains, and regional livelihoods, as well as ensuring the availability of vital services in the aftermath of disasters. There has been a growing momentum in recognizing workforce criticality in the aftermath of disasters; nevertheless, significant gaps still remain in modeling, assessing, and managing workforce disruptions and their associated ripple effects to other interdependent systems. The workforce plays a pivotal role in ensuring that a disrupted region continues to function and subsequently recover from the adverse effects of disasters. With this in mind, this article presents a review of recent studies that have underscored the criticality of workforce sectors in formulating synergistic preparedness and recovery policies for interdependent infrastructure and regional economic systems.
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