Despite advances and large amounts of money invested in science and technology to reduce disasters, many
communities in developed and developing countries are still facing challenges to disaster reduction. Although we recognize
the diversity of risk vulnerabilities, the focus of this paper will be on what we consider a fundamental vulnerability in
urban and rural environments, namely, nonexistent or outdated building codes. We will review for different countries and
contexts, the pre- and post-disaster building performance and building codes to understand what the main problems are,
what we could be doing better, and what we can do to stop the vicious cycle of recurrent disasters.