In most natural disaster prone areas, vernacular builders have implemented affordable strategies that have proven to perform adequately during natural hazards. Learning from these practices represents a great potential to further strengthen the resilience of contemporary societies dealing with these risks. This paper presents an approach for the identification and the valorisation of disaster resilient local building practices, based on two methodologies developed for the analysis of vernacular building cultures in risk prone areas. One focuses on issues concerning the exploration of vernacular architecture seismic performance; the other explores the relation between building technical features and factors influencing the resilience of communities living in areas affected by various types of natural hazards. This combined approach aims to explore and to put forward ways to further benefit from the inventiveness inherent to vernacular building cultures, in order to pragmatically contribute to the vulnerability reduction process of present-day built environments.