Michael Keem, regarding your comment here:

It could be argued that some advanced economies have reached that point due to effective management of disasters – or alternatively, due to a lack of exposure to them (and thus, preparedness – e.g. Victorian 2009 bushfires).

I agree – It is true that the countries with the highest risk index are normally those in developing nations. The World Risk Report has some interesting comparisons of developing countries vs developed countries and their exposure to hazards vs vulnerability. For example Japan has a high exposure (fourth highest worldwide) but thanks to it’s good level of development it has a low level of vulnerability (fifteenth best value worldwide) making it’s overall score 17th worldwide. Liberia ranks very highly as the sixth most vulnerable country, even though it’s exposure rank is only 113 of 171 – Liberia’s poor economic and social situation can be thanked for that. These two scores combined pull Liberia up to 57th position – this, despite having very low exposure. Thus, I believe it is not just the lack of exposure developed countries have which makes the difference, but also the low level of vulnerability they possess due to their economic, social & governance developed advantages.

Therefore, when it comes to recovery, I think that the differences are in part due to a much higher level of vulnerability in developing economies – and a much higher level of exposure to risk. This means that when it comes to recovery in a developing country – it takes longer because the communities are less resilient to the shocks (e.g. they may not have access to savings or insurance).