The concepts vulnerability, resilience and community are widely used and abused in the literature on natural hazards and disaster risk reduction. This paper seeks to bring greater rigour in their use. In particular, vulnerability must be understood as a set of socioeconomic conditions that are identifiable in relation to particular hazard risks, and therefore perform a predictive role that can assist in risk reduction. Resilience is often confused as a concept, sometimes seen as the inverse of vulnerability, and by others as an independent quality. These confusions may be especially relevant in the context of §policy for disaster risk reduction at the scale of community. Here there is often an idealized notion of community as undifferentiated and unproblematic.