Sep 30, 2020
The authors analyze how effective supply-chain management and recovery governance have worked in postdisaster settings in four countries, providing positive and cautionary lessons and good practices that may be applied to Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Field research was conducted to assess recovery challenges and recommend measures to restore lives and livelihoods, while also improving resilience to future disasters.
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As Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, effective supply-chain management and recovery governance will be vitally important to a successful outcome. The Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC) team conducted field research in Puerto Rico to gain local perspectives regarding the biggest challenges the island is facing, and then assessed recovery challenges that four disaster-affected island countries (Haiti, Japan, New Zealand, and the Philippines) faced over the past decade. The team also drew insights from other relevant cases featured in scholarly disaster management and public policy literature.
Against the backdrop of Puerto Rico's potential challenges, the HSOAC team assessed how similar issues were addressed in these other cases and what lessons—both positive and cautionary—emerged. The authors conclude by highlighting several overarching best practices that are widely used internationally, which Puerto Rico's authorities may wish to consider in restoring lives and livelihoods while also improving resilience to future disasters. In the near term, these recommended practices would include generating support for local involvement in recovery efforts; broadening private-sector investments in workforce development; crafting a comprehensive communications strategy; and adopting new tools for planning, monitoring, and evaluating projects and other initiatives. Over the longer term, two key recommendations would be to expand public-private partnerships focusing on disaster management, while also establishing a dedicated disaster recovery authority given Puerto Rico's location in a disaster-prone region.
Conclusion: Findings and Considerations for Action
Haiti Earthquake (2010)
Japan Earthquake/Tsunami (2011)
New Zealand: Christchurch Earthquake (2011)
Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan (2013)
HSOAC is a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with DHS.