Developing a Local Recovery Management Framework: Report on the Post-Disaster Strategies and Approaches Taken by Three Local Governments in the U.S. Following Major Disasters

August 2014 (VOL. 32, NO. 2)

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Comparative case studies of post-disaster recovery are limited, and even fewer have explored organizational approaches to disaster recovery, especially local governments. This paper describes research on the post-disaster strategies and approaches taken by three local governments in the U.S. following major disasters: Los Angeles, California (following the 1994 Northridge earthquake); Grand Forks, North Dakota (following the 1997 Red River flood); and New Orleans, Louisiana (following 2005 Hurricane Katrina). The management practices, recovery timelines, and resulting outcomes were examined for each city. This research proposes a local recovery management framework that can extend the Incident Command System (ICS)-based emergency management structure into recovery, helping to standardize recovery management practices and improve local government effectiveness in recovery. Such a model has diagnostic application to determine gaps in local government capabilities to manage post-disaster recovery and identify needed support and resources—both financial and technical; it can also serve as a framework for recovery exercises and training.