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The role of social capital, personal networks, and emergency responders in post-disaster recovery and resilience: a study of rural communities in Indiana

Arif Mohaimin Sadri (), Satish V. Ukkusuri (), Seungyoon Lee (), Rosalee Clawson (), Daniel Aldrich (), Megan Sapp Nelson (), Justin Seipel () and Daniel Kelly ()
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Arif Mohaimin Sadri: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Satish V. Ukkusuri: Purdue University
Seungyoon Lee: Purdue University
Rosalee Clawson: Purdue University
Daniel Aldrich: Northeastern University
Megan Sapp Nelson: Purdue University
Justin Seipel: Purdue University
Daniel Kelly: Purdue University

Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 2018, vol. 90, issue 3, 1377-1406

Abstract: Abstract The factors that explain the speed of recovery after disaster remain contested. While many have argued that physical infrastructure, social capital, and disaster damage influence the arc of recovery, empirical studies that test these various factors within a unified modeling framework are few. We conducted a mail survey to collect data on household recovery in four small towns in southern Indiana that were hit by deadly tornadoes in March 2012. The recovery effort is ongoing; while many of the homes, businesses, and community facilities were rebuilt in 2013, some are still under construction. We investigate how households in these communities are recovering from damage that they experienced and the role of social capital, personal networks, and assistance from emergency responders on the overall recovery experience. We used an ordered probit modeling framework to test the combined as well as relative effects of (a) damage to physical infrastructures (houses, vehicles, etc.); (b) recovery assistance from emergency responders (FEMA) as well as friends and neighbors; (c) personal network characteristics (size, network density, proximity, length of relationship); (d) social capital (civic engagement, contact with neighbors, trust); and (e) household characteristics. Results show that while households with higher levels of damage experienced slower recovery, those with recovery assistance from neighbors, stronger personal networks, and higher levels of social capital experienced faster recovery. The insights gained in this study will enable emergency managers and disaster response personnel to implement targeted strategies in facilitating post-disaster recovery and community resilience.

Keywords: Social capital; Personal networks; Emergency responders; Resilience; Post-disaster recovery; Ordered probit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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