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Coastal Community Resilience & Post Storm Recovery

Articles About Disaster Recovery and Building Community Resilience

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Pais, J. F., & Elliott, J. R. (2008). Places as recovery machines: Vulnerability and neighborhood change after major hurricanes. Social Forces, 86(4), 1415-1453.

This study advances a conceptual framework for understanding the transformation of places into recovery machines after major hurricanes. This framework contends that in the years following such disasters, pro-growth coalitions take advantage of new sources of material and symbolic capital to promote further demographic growth. It also contends that the spatial nature of this growth varies significantly as a result of social inequalities among residential subpopulations, contributing to uneven transformation of local neighborhoods across affected regions. To test hypotheses derived from this framework, we combine innovative Geographic Information Systems data from "billion dollar" storms of the early 1990s with demographic data from local census tracts. Results support the recovery machine framework and imply that post-disaster resilience may contribute to the creation of larger, more segregated versions of affected regions that await exposure with the next major disaster.

Beggan, D. M. (2010). The impact of Hurricane Rita on an academic institution: lessons learned. Disasters, 34(1), 93-111. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7717.2009.01116.x

This paper examines the impact of Hurricane Rita on one of the many universities along the Gulf Coast of the United States: Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Hurricane Rita, which made landfall between Sabine Pass, Texas, and Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana, on 24 September 2005, is the fourth strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. This paper assesses the tasks that confronted the administration, faculty, and students of Lamar University in the days and weeks after the event. It concludes that the one factor that will influence more than any other the degree of success after any disaster is whether all levels of the administrative command institutionalise, endorse, promote, and encourage the adopted recovery plan. The research seeks to share valuable insights on the vulnerabilities that academic institutions face during natural disasters and to highlight some of the many lessons learned.

Forgette, R., Dettrey, B., Van Boening, M., & Swanson, D. A. (2009). Before, now, and after: Assessing hurricane Katrina relief. Population Research and Policy Review, 28(1), 31-44. doi:

We assess governmental and non-governmental responses to disasters using primary data of Hurricane Katrina survivors along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Non-governmental sources include nonprofit relief groups, faith-based organizations, and survivors' self-identified social networks. We assess the impact of these governmental and non-governmental relief efforts on survivors' economic, psychological, physical, and social effects from the disaster. Our results show that social isolation significantly increases perceptions of disaster disturbance and decreases perceived rates of disaster relief. Additionally, survivors perceive that social networks provide greater sources of psychological, financial and social disaster relief than government sources. However, survivors' social networks decay sharply in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, and they do not appear to fully recover a year from the disaster. These social networks themselves are not fully resilient to a disaster.

Patterson, O., Weil, F., & Patel, K. (2010). The role of community in disaster response: Conceptual models. Population Research and Policy Review, 29(2), 127-141.

We focus on the role that community plays in the continuum of disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and we explore where community fits in conceptual frameworks concerning disaster decision-making. We offer an overview of models developed in the literature as well as insights drawn from research related to Hurricane Katrina. Each model illustrates some aspect of the spectrum of disaster preparedness and recovery, beginning with risk perception and vulnerability assessments, and proceeding to notions of resiliency and capacity building. Concepts like social resilience are related to theories of "social capital," which stress the importance of social networks, reciprocity, and interpersonal trust. These allow individuals and groups to accomplish greater things than they could by their isolated efforts. We trace two contrasting notions of community to Tocqueville. On the one hand, community is simply an aggregation of individual persons, that is, a population. As individuals, they have only limited capacity to act effectively or make decisions for themselves, and they are strongly subject to administrative decisions that authorities impose on them. On the other hand, community is an autonomous actor, with its own interests, preferences, resources, and capabilities. This definition of community has also been embraced by community-based participatory researchers and has been thought to offer an approach that is more active and advocacy oriented. We conclude with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of community in disaster response and in disaster research.[

Torres, H., & Alsharif, K. (2016). Reflecting on resilience in Broward County, Florida: A newspaper content analysis about Hurricane Wilma recovery. International Journal Of Disaster Risk Reduction, 19, 1936-46. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2016.08.007

Resilience is a burgeoning concept in the field of disaster research. While definitions for resilience vary, some scholars distinguish between two scales of resilience: Specified resilience, addressing resistance to known disturbances, and general resilience, addressing a system's capacity to deal with less predictable shocks. This paper qualitatively analyzes the content of 172 Sun-Sentinel newspaper articles to explore the interplay between specified and general resilience in Broward County following Hurricane Wilma in 2005. In these articles about Wilma, a specified disturbance event, some prominent themes that tied into theories of general resilience included the distribution of benefits and risks, accountability, social learning and memory, cross-scale governance, vulnerability and social networks. After identifying these surrogates for resilience and further analyzing the content of the news articles, this paper concludes with four recommendations for Broward County to potentially enhance resilience to future storms and less predictable disturbances, like climate change and sea level rise: (1) Update county vulnerability profiles with attention to socially marginalized vulnerable groups; (2) Reframe and clarify the purpose of the Vulnerable Populations Registry, using social science research; (3) Foster opportunities for community members to share local knowledge, highlighting innovative problem-solving; and (4) Review existing disaster recovery programs to assess the distribution of benefits and risks across populations, space and time.

Need help accessing the articles? Each title is hyperlinked. You may also copy and paste the article's title into UWF Library's OneSearch on the library homepage.