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Coordinated disaster recovery: The National Disaster Recovery Framework in action

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Halfon, Jonathan ; McLachlan, Shannon

Year Published

2019

Publication

In: Campbell, Lindsay K.; Svendsen, Erika; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Hines, Sarah J.; Maddox, David, eds. Green readiness, response, and recovery: A collaborative synthesis. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-185. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 234-241.

Abstract

Urban areas are complex, multilayered systems that must carefully balance social and economic interests with built infrastructure, resource flows (energy, water, food, etc.), nonprofit and industry networks, and various levels of government. Each system is part of an overarching sector, which are interconnected and interdependent. Some may be in direct competition due to limited resources (municipal agency budgets), others may have competing goals (property developers versus preservationists) (Meerow 2016). It is the push and pull between diverse sectors that make cities incubators of innovation and progress during "blue sky" periods. This can also be the source of potentially cascading problems following a catastrophic event like a hurricane or other natural disaster. When urban centers achieve dynamic equilibrium between competing sectors, they thrive (Mehmood 2015). However, this natural instability makes returning to a previous state of equilibrium post-disaster unlikely, if not impossible, because each sector will need to redefine their priorities in light of the disruption (Meerow 2016). Resilience, therefore, cannot be understood simply as returning to the state of predisaster (Mehmood 2015). Resilience is the ability for all urban sectors to respond to and rapidly recover from a disturbance, and to adapt all their systems to better handle future disturbances.

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Citation

Halfon, Jonathan; McLachlan, Shannon. 2019. Coordinated disaster recovery: The National Disaster Recovery Framework in action. In: Campbell, Lindsay K.; Svendsen, Erika; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Hines, Sarah J.; Maddox, David, eds. Green readiness, response, and recovery: A collaborative synthesis. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-185. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 234-241. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-P-185-paper16.

Last updated on: May 8, 2019