A comparative study of housing reconstruction after two major earthquakes: The 1994 Northridge earthquake in the United States and the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan

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Texas A&M University

Though the idea of pre-impact recovery preparedness planning has recently been promoted by federal and state governments, very little research has been done to evaluate how it affects the process of disaster recovery. This research attempts to understand how pre-impact recovery planning affects housing reconstruction by examining the relationship of pre-impact recovery planning with housing reconstruction speed and the use of mitigation techniques during housing reconstruction. This study was conducted by comparing two cases, the City of Los Angeles, California and Taichung County in Taiwan. This study finds that having a pre-impact preparedness recovery plan increases the speed of housing reconstruction. The relationship between having a pre-impact recovery preparedness plan and the extent to which hazard mitigation is integrated into the recovery process is not very clear, but the experience of the City of Los Angeles suggests that having a pre-impact recovery plan allows local officials to make more effective use of the ?window of opportunity? after disaster.