Opinion: Compound risks and complex emergencies require new approaches to preparednessIncreasingly, we face compounding and interrelated environmental, socioeconomic, and political crises. Yet our approaches to these problems are often siloed, fragmented, and inadequate. The current pandemic, for instance, continues to collide with a number of other threats to human life and livelihoods. These include violent conflicts, displacement, insect swarms, droughts, heat waves, and structural inequality in the form of racism and gender discrimination. We believe we are at a critical juncture, faced with a need and responsibility to redesign institutions to be proactive, agile, and socially just when confronted with increasingly likely compound risks. We need to redesign institutions to be proactive, agile, and socially just when confronted with compound risks that have become increasingly likely. Image credit: Dave Cutler (artist). Because the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency is a protracted crisis that entails waves of infections over several months, the pandemic will inevitably continue to collide with other social and environmental shocks and disruptions, leading to increased risk of compound disasters (1). Globally, we have seen both extended and acute periods of stress on social and government systems driven by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other natural and social hazards. When coupled with economic shocks, political fragility, and conflicts, these multiple stressors become concurrent drivers of complex emergencies that severely challenge domestic and international emergency response. Such crises present a need to better understand compound risks and prioritize collaborative action—we need to address neglected risk assessment challenges around communication, funding, governance, and social justice (2). Thus, while the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must draw on existing knowledge and frameworks to ensure that disaster risk management can address compounded risks. We must learn from the current crisis to prepare better resource-deployment strategies, governance directives, and policy responses. These responses, in turn, must connect … [↵][1]1To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: andrewk{at}iri.columbia.edu. [1]: #xref-corresp-1-1