Texas disaster recovery capacity : the impacts of leadership structures on local resilience



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This report examines the leadership structures of four disaster recovery housing programs in two Texas communities in order to identify leadership models that contribute to future individual and community resilience. Disaster recovery is a physical and social process that requires both scientific knowledge of best practices and practical local knowledge of community context. The level of a community's physical, organizational, and social capacity relates directly to its ability to deliver needed disaster recovery services. The variation of capacity at all levels of governmental agencies and community organizations across Texas has become dramatically apparent over the last decade of disasters with clear consequences to the success of disaster recovery efforts. Information collected from those involved in the housing recovery efforts from two recent disasters in Texas, Hurricane Dolly in 2008 and the Bastrop Complex Wildfires in 2011, provide a window into the current governance models being employed. Communities in the Rio Grande Valley and Bastrop County are now administering multiple housing recovery efforts through assorted levels of government and community organization. By documenting and analyzing the structure of leadership in each program through quantitative and qualitative methods this report reconstructs the capacities of each leadership model that are relevant to articulated recovery goals. Findings from this analysis reveal opportunities for improvement in the design of future disaster recovery programs at the state and local level.