Panel 15 – Post-disaster resiliency: Planning to meet community needs during the short-term recovery phase

Conveners: Claire Connolly Knox (School of Public Administration and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida) and Lauren A. Clay (Health Services Administration Department, D’Youville College; Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware)

Abstract: Billion-dollar disasters have steadily increased in the U.S. and abroad, which has focused our attention to community resiliency. In the U.S., 2017 and 2018 were two of the most costly years for natural disasters thus far. Specifically, the 2017 Hurricane Season – markedly Harvey, Irma, and Maria – caused an estimated $265 to $306 billion in damages and greatly tested the level of disaster resilience in the affected communities (NOAA 2018). Disaster resilience, often mistaken as the opposite of vulnerability, is the ability for individuals, communities, or society to prepare and plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. All disasters are local and communities continue to struggle to meet their needs during the short-term recovery phase.

Post-disaster resilience is multi-faceted. While scholars have studied various aspects of community resiliency in the growing literature, there remain gaps in the scientific literature related to emergency management. Most notably (1) meeting community needs during short-term recovery phase following a disaster as evidenced by the prolonged processes and stress associated with disaster recovery; (2) reported health and well-being outcomes by families, communities, and institutions affected by disaster; and (3) translating lessons learned during the short-term recovery phase into long-term recovery and resiliency planning efforts (Kendra, Clay, and Gill 2018; Knox 2017).

This panel will examine approaches to bolstering resilience at the individual, community, institutional, and policy levels. Papers focused on approaches to resilience from different country settings, methodological, and disciplinary perspectives as well as interdisciplinary approaches; studies of resilience at multiple levels such as individual, community, institutional, and policy levels; examples or exemplars of resilience building interventions; studies that have been translated into action; and practical, empirical, or theoretical work are encouraged.

Long Abstract:Billion-dollar disasters have steadily increased in the U.S. and abroad, which has focused our attention to community resiliency. In the U.S., 2017 and 2018 were two of the most costly years for natural disasters thus far. Specifically, the 2017 Hurricane Season, most notably Harvey, Irma, and Maria, caused an estimated $265 to $306 billion in damages and tested affected communities level of disaster resilience (NOAA 2018). Disaster resilience, often mistaken as the opposite of vulnerability, is the ability for individuals, communities, or society to prepare and plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. All disasters are local and communities continue to struggle to meet their needs during the short-term recovery phase.

Post-disaster resilience is multi-faceted. While scholars have studied various aspects of community resiliency in the growing literature, there remain gaps in the scientific literature related to emergency management. Most notably (1) meeting community needs during short-term recovery phase following a disaster as evidenced by the prolonged processes and stress associated with disaster recovery, (2) reported health and well-being outcomes by families, communities, and institutions affected by disaster, and (3) translating lessons learned during the short-term recovery phase into long-term recovery and resiliency planning efforts (Kendra et al. 2018; Knox 2017).

Measuring community resilience is challenging; however, it is imperative especially if “communities want to track their progress towards resiliency and target efforts where they most need to improve.” (National Research Council 2012:12). The strategic goals and targets for resiliency and long-term planning often stem from recommendations and lessons learned during the response and short-term recovery phases (Knox 2013). While long-term recovery planning is a critical element of a community’s resiliency, it is often underutilized because of a lack of capacity at the local government level. Multiple types of capacities are needed for resiliency, including community, economic, infrastructure, institutional, and social (Ross 2016; Cutter et al. 2010). Lacking one or more of these capacities can lead to repeated failures, repeated policy and organizational recommendations, and an unequal distribution of goods and services during and after natural or man-made disasters (Knox 2013; Hu et al. 2014; Kim & Marcouiller 2016).

There are disparities in the distribution of disaster risk in a community and disparities in the adverse consequences following disaster exposure. Racial and ethnic minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged are recognized as health disparity populations and experience a disproportionate burden of adverse consequences following disasters due to lack of English proficiency, culturally appropriate risk communication, systemic poverty, segregation, substandard education, and social and political marginalization (Fothergill & Peek 2004; Purtle 2012). Before an event, individuals with inadequate access to health services, high prevalence of chronic illness, and limited capital are less likely to be in a position to prepare for a disaster (Honore 2008). When a disruption or disaster occurs, these are the same populations that require additional resources such as transportation assistance and health services for the treatment of chronic health conditions. Compounding the problem, following disasters, we often see changes in the health care landscape from temporary closures to relocation and permanent closure of facilities resulting in disruptions to continuity of care and access issues in low-income and minority communities (Ford et al. 2006; Guglielmo 2006; Krol et al. 2007). While disparities are exacerbated during disasters, the public attention on inequity presents an opportunity to leverage the attention and influx of resources to improve health equity and bolster resilience for those most vulnerable.

This panel will examine approaches to bolstering resilience at the individual, community, institutional, and policy levels. Papers focused on approaches to resilience from different country settings, methodological, and disciplinary perspectives as well as interdisciplinary approaches; studies of resilience at multiple levels such as individual, community, institutional, and policy levels; examples or exemplars of resilience building interventions; studies that have been translated into action; and practical, empirical, or theoretical work are encouraged.

References

 

Cutter, S. L., Burton, C. G., & Emrich, C. T. (2010). Disaster resilience indicators for benchmarking baseline conditions. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 7(1).

Ford, E. S., Mokdad, A. H., Link, M. W., Garvin, W. S., McGuire, L. C., Jiles, R. B., & Balluz, L. S. (2006). Chronic disease in health emergencies: In the eye of the hurricane. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(2), A46. doi:A46 [pii]

Fothergill, A., & Peek, L. A. (2004). Poverty and disasters in the united states: A review of recent sociological findings. Natural Hazards, 32(1), 89-110.

Guglielmo, W. J. (2006). New orleans’ doctors: Still MIA. Medical Economics, 83(6), 17.

Honore, R. L. (2008). Health disparities: Barriers to a culture of preparedness. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice : JPHMP, 14 Suppl, S5-7. doi:10.1097/01.PHH.0000338381.29071.d6 [doi]

Hu, Q., Knox, C. C., & Kapucu, N. (2014). What Have We Learned Since September 11, 2001? A Network Study of the Boston Marathon Bombings Response. Public Administration Review, 74(6), 698-712.

Kendra, J. M., Clay, L. A., & Gill, K. B. (2018). Resilience and disasters. Handbook of disaster research (pp. 87-107) Springer.

Kim, H. & Marcouiller, D.W. (2016). Natural Disaster Response, Community Resilience, and Economic Capacity: A Case Study of Coastal Florida, Society & Natural Resources, 29:8, 981-997.

Knox, C. C. (2013). Analyzing After Action Reports from Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina: Repeated, Modified, and Newly Created Recommendations. Journal of Emergency Management, 11(2), 160-168.

Knox, C. C. (2017). A Football Field Lost Every 45 Minutes: Evaluating Local Capacity to Implement Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. Coastal Management Journal, 45(3), 233-252.

Krol, D. M., Redlener, M., Shapiro, A., & Wajnberg, A. (2007). A mobile medical care approach targeting underserved populations in post-hurricane katrina mississippi. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 18(2), 331-340.

National Research Council. (2012). Disaster resilience: A national imperative. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018). https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/

Purtle, J. (2012). Racial and ethnic disparities in post-disaster mental health: Examining the evidence through a lens of social justice. Wash.& Lee J.Civil Rts.& Soc.just., 19, 31.Ford, E. S., Mokdad, A. H., Link, M. W., Garvin, W. S., McGuire, L. C., Jiles, R. B., & Balluz, L. S. (2006). Chronic disease in health emergencies: In the eye of the hurricane. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(2), A46. doi:A46 [pii]

Ross, A. D. (2016). Perceptions of Resilience Among Coastal Emergency Managers. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 7(1), 4-24.