A study conducted after the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami concluded that social networks were more important than emergency supplies in reducing losses and accelerating recovery. The study by Daniel Aldrich and colleagues (link at bottom) surveyed 130 towns and cities in the Tohoku region and examined how factors such as exposure, wave height, seawalls, demographics and social capital influenced mortality rates. They measured social capital through interviews of survivors asking how many of their neighbors they new. They found that high-trust communities, where people were more likely to know each another, had higher survival rates that comparable low-trust communities.

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