American Society of Civil Engineers


Business and Disasters: Empirical Patterns and Unanswered Questions


by Gary R. Webb, (Postdoctoral Res. Fellow, Disaster Res. Ctr. and Dept. of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716), Kathleen J. Tierney, (Prof. of Sociology and Co-Dir., Disaster Res. Ctr. and Dept. of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE), and James M. Dahlhamer, (Postdoctoral Res. Fellow, Disaster Res. Ctr., and Dept. of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE)

Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, May 2000, pp. 83-90, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2000)1:2(83))

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Through five systematic, large-scale mail surveys conducted since 1993, the Disaster Research Center has obtained data on hazard awareness, preparedness, disaster impacts, and short- and long-term recovery among 5,000 private-sector firms in communities across the United States (Memphis/Shelby County, Tenn.; Des Moines, Iowa; Los Angeles, Calif.; Santa Cruz County, Calif.; and South Dade County, Fl.). This paper summarizes findings from those studies in three major areas: (1) factors influencing business disaster preparedness; (2) disaster-related sources of business disruption and financial loss; and (3) factors that affect the ability of businesses to recover following major disaster events. Implications of the research for business contingency planning and business disaster management are discussed.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Corporations
Disaster recovery
Disasters
Lifeline systems