Keywords: business recovery, regional recovery, disaster recovery periods, economic impact, vulnerability, business continuity, long term recovery, mega–disasters, large scale disasters, catastrophic disasters, emergency planning, emergency response, disaster response, mitigation, economic recovery
Long term recovery from mega–disasters: regional and business recovery periods, differential vulnerability, and business continuity
Understanding the underlying variables that contribute to the economic impact of large scale disasters is crucial to mitigating the effects on regions and businesses. However, depending on the approach used - secondary research on regions, using macroeconomic variables, vs. primary, survey–based business research - contradictions exist on the extent and nature of the recovery, and on the contributing variables. Further research is needed on characterisation of long–term recovery of regions and businesses in the wake of catastrophic disasters, to better pinpoint relevant factors and to inform the planning, response and mitigation efforts of communities and businesses in disaster–prone regions. This empirical work reviews and incrementally advances the literature in this area, by examining disaster recovery periods using a conceptual framework, broad–based economic indicators, and results from select case studies. Factors influencing business continuity and economic recovery of businesses are highlighted, and some best practices are discussed.