An Information Tool for Post-Disaster Economic Recovery

About the Author

Jonathan Morgan

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.

North Carolina’s recent experience with Hurricane Irene focuses attention on the difficult challenge of rebuilding a local economy in the aftermath of a major natural disaster.  There has been no shortage of disasters–natural and man-made–to occur around the globe in past couple decades.  Indeed, the U.S. has had its share: 9/11 terrorist attacks, numerous hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires.  It is amazing to see how many of the natural disasters taking place in the U.S. since 1980 have exceeded $1 billion individually in terms of economic costs.  The National Climatic Data Center, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, estimates that the 109 major natural disasters affecting the U.S. since 1980 caused cumulative damage and economic losses totaling more than $750 billion.  For a listing and brief summary of these weather-related disasters including their total costs, both in terms of dollars and loss of life, click here.

To assist communities with the daunting process of economic recovery following a major disaster, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) have partnered to create a web-site called  The web site is intended to be a centralized clearinghouse for information and resources on pre-disaster planning/preparation and post-disaster economic recovery.  The site includes specific information about:

  • the phases of a disaster, before and after
  • the distinctive roles of economic development professionals in the planning and recovery process
  • navigating the federal system
  • communication strategies
  • facilitating financial and technical assistance for businesses
  • lessons learned from real-life case studies of response and recovery

Leave a Reply

We will read all comments submitted to us, but we will publish only those comments that serve to advance our readers’ understanding of a post and are consistent with our institutional commitment to non-advocacy.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>