2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference
Ms. Ingrid Arocho, Oregon State University
System resilience is defined as the ability of a system to prepare for hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and bounce back rapidly from a defined disruptive state. The key steps to resilience include prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. There are two types of resiliency plans: pre-disaster plans and post-disaster plans. The objective of this study was to compare the post-disaster plans used for hurricane Maria to the ones used for older hurricane Katrina in terms of severity, damage, and recovery. Hurricane Maria was selected due to the shorter amount of time from the disaster and the researchers’ ability to gather enough information post-disaster. The methodology used to compare the hurricanes was Community Based Resilience Analysis (CoBRA) model. CoBRA was designed as a conceptual framework to assess and measure the impacts of drought risk reduction. This model was initially designed for droughts in the European countries. The researchers implemented the model by modifying key factors that typically affect communities during a hurricane. Participants from the communities that faced the disaster were selected to discuss the resiliency levels after the event. Required data was collected for the phases and steps included in the CoBRA assessment including utilities, transportation and communication systems. The results of this study give a better idea of how reacting to hurricanes changed over the years and to determine the efficiency of the resiliency plans. Recommendations were made based on the results to enhance the current resiliency plans and to improve the response and recovery rates post-disaster.