Community Economic Recovery Following Natural Disasters: A Suggested Measurement Approach

Benedict C. Posadas, Amanda K. Seymour, Benedict A. Posadas, Jr., Scott A. Langlois, Randy Y. Coker and Christine E. Coker, Mississippi State University, Coastal Research & Extension Center
benp@ext.msstate.edu

The Center for Urban Rural Interface Studies (CURIS) was established in 2005 to address sustainable development and disaster preparedness needs in rural communities.  The CURIS Region includes 20 counties and parishes in four of the five coastal states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  Because of the location, these states experience a wide range of natural disasters from the more common, hurricanes and tornadoes, to the extremely rare, earthquakes along the New Madrid fault. 

Natural disasters have caused serious damages to the nation’s coastal communities, especially the recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike.  The expedited path to economic recovery is foremost in the priorities among the local leadership and business sector of rural counties and parishes affected by recent natural disasters. 

This poster presents a suggested approach in measuring community economic recovery following natural disasters. The economic variables to be used in measuring the economic recovery of counties and parishes will include variables describing the community human capital, economic output and tax revenues, business sector, and private construction.  The sectoral economic variables and the sources of data included in the proposal are as follows:

            Household sector:
Population, labor force and graduation rates from the Bureau of Census
Personal income from County Business Patterns
Private building permits and valuations from the Bureau of Census

            Government sector:
Retail sales, tax collections from state tax commissions

            Business sector:
Number of business establishments from County Business Patterns
Annual payroll and number of employees from County Business Patterns

View the pdf version of the poster presentation.