Assessing the Impact of Municipal Government Capacity on Recovery from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Roberts, Patrick S.
MetadataShow full item record
A municipality’s level of public engagement and especially community involvement is associated with a greater rate of recovery in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017. This finding is based on an analysis of the relationship between the capacity of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipal governments and their rates of post disaster-recovery, controlling for both exposure to Maria and pre-storm trends. Municipal capacity for community involvement may help activate social capital and the co-production of disaster recovery. Community involvement may increase trust among local officials and residents, increase government’s knowledge of community priorities, and help residents access federal and state aid. Other measures of management capacity are not consistently associated with a faster rate of post-disaster recovery. The findings suggest that investing in municipal capacity for public engagement as part of disaster preparedness may provide benefits for disaster recovery. For researchers, the combination of original survey data and readily available post-disaster indicators provides a model for assessing recovery after disaster in the short term.