Recent research on business resilience demonstrated that there are groups of institutions that require ‘Hardening©’. This paper uses a series of models to exemplify how this might be explained. These institutions can be shown to operate in a new and challenging global context that is summarised by the ‘Godfear Model©’ and in a new risk context that is summarised by the ‘Gray Model©’. The means of operating within these contexts is defined by the ‘Gordon Model©’ and the ‘Racornir Model©’. While this is not the only way of looking at risk, resilience or hardening, integrated and contextual modelling may assist institutions to analyse sustainability opportunities and threats better. This article summarises the ‘Godfear Model©’, the ‘Gray Model©’, the ‘Gordon Model©’ and the ‘Racornir Model©’ and places them within the context of disaster risk management. A brief analysis, using case studies from varied human-induced and environmentally related disasters, outlines ways in which the three models may benefit the disaster risk management of institutions in a development environment. It is also suggested that beyond the institutions themselves development teams can use the approach to assist in assessing context, risk and management responses.