Cover: Short-Term Solutions to a Long-Term Challenge

Short-Term Solutions to a Long-Term Challenge

Rethinking Disaster Recovery Planning to Reduce Vulnerabilities and Inequities

Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17, Number 2 (January 2020). doi: 10.3390/ijerph17020482

Posted on Apr 30, 2020

by Melissa L. Finucane, Joie D. Acosta, Amanda Wicker, Katie Whipkey

In the immediate aftermath of disaster, governments usually act quickly to reduce risk and to recover their communities' socio-economic functioning. Policy makers in these situations need—but may not have the capacity or time for—substantial analysis and public debate about how to balance short- and long-term societal needs. Inadequate attention to this challenge may result in a deepening of the inequities that increase vulnerability to disaster impacts. We review case examples to illustrate how post-disaster policies may influence the nature, pace, and inclusiveness of community recovery. We then apply a vulnerability/inequity framework to conceptualize how to enhance disaster recovery and avoid perpetuating inequities when weighing the diverse needs of communities across long time horizons.

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