Impacts and Activities Following Disaster: Narratives on Recovery in Hurricane-Affected Communities

March 2010 (VOL. 28, NO. 1)

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We draw on in-depth interview data collected from participants in communities impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to explore how public and private sector decision makers express their understanding of the disaster recovery process. Two key themes emerged from our interviews and served as the central categories under which other issues were grouped: 1) disaster impacts; and 2) recovery activities. Disaster impacts included effects on community-level human capital, infrastructure, and the psychological/psychosocial toll wrought by the hurricanes. Community recovery activities in the wake of the storms included navigating financing/funding issues, employment growth, and more ambitious planning processes. A key finding from our analysis is the interconnectedness of the various themes discussed by participants. The implications of our findings are then discussed.\r\n