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Successful Disaster Recovery Using the Community Capitals Framework

No community is immune from natural disaster. But the steps they take during the recovery phase can impact their degree of resilience for subsequent events. The Community Capitals Framework was used by a five-state multidisciplinary team of researchers and Extension specialists to examine the experiences of three communities: flood recovery in Breckenridge, MN; tornado recovery in Pilger, NE; and drought recovery in McCook, NE. An examination of each community’s capitals prior to and over a period of time after a natural disaster revealed a variety of strategies used to enhance community resilience.  Although each community was unique in size and location and the disasters they experienced differed, generalized lessons can be learned for other communities as they face natural disasters. In each case, people (human, social, and cultural capital) were able to leverage (political capital) resources (financial, built, and natural capital), not only to “bounce back” but to build even greater capacity and resilience for future events.

 Presented by:
Gary Goreham, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Dakota State University
Ashley Mueller, Extension Educator and Disaster Education Coordinator, University of Nebraska
Kurt Mantonya, Senior Associate, Heartland Center for Leadership Development, Lincoln, NE
Duane A. Gill, Regents Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Disasters and Extreme Events, Oklahoma State University
Deborah Bathke, Research Associate Professor, Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Nicole Wall, Outreach and Research Specialist, Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Theresa Jedd, Post-doctoral Researcher, Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

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