BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY AND RESILIENCE THROUGH IMPROVEMENTS IN ECONOMIC RECOVERY
McMahan, Kevin D.
Woodbury, Glen L.
Fernandez, Lauren S.
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This research answers the following question: How does the United States improve economic recovery to mitigate the impacts a disaster has on a community? The thesis examines existing literature and insight from subject-matter experts to determine how the nation can improve economic recovery after a disaster to mitigate the overall impact on communities. Using the Delphi methodology, subject-matter experts from different levels of government, as well as the business sector, answered questions about the present status of knowledge, capabilities, and capacity of economic recovery. The Delphi information became the basis for a net assessment, which helped to create a shared understanding of U.S. capabilities and how they can counter or mitigate the overall impact of a nebulous and challenging problem. This assessment analyzed economic recovery using three broad categories: the National Disaster Recovery Framework, the operational environment, and governance. The research identified three problems hindering existing capabilities: limited unity of effort, unrealistic objectives, and a lack of emphasis on economic recovery. Addressing these areas would allow the nation to improve its preparedness capability and, more importantly, provide practitioners and stakeholders the tools to support the citizens they serve.
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