With the concept of "build back better", the United Nations emphasizes the importance of the recovery phase following a natural hazard as an opportunity to implement vulnerability reduction measures. This work here focuses on the ongoing recovery of the French part of island of St. Martin following hurricanes Irma in September 2017. The recovery of this semi-autonomous territory is a major challenge for the local authorities and for the French State. The current state of post-disaster recovery shows the difficulties of reconciling the two imperatives of "rebuild faster" and "rebuild better", in a context of social, political and media pressure. Therefore, what conditions would be necessary to take advantage of this key moment and make the small island more resilient to a new event? What do we learn from this experience for the management of the recovery?