The challenges, successes, and prospects of post-Dorian recovery
TWCF Number
Project Duration
January 1 / 2023
- December 31 / 2025
Core Funding Area
Individual Freedom and Free Markets
The Bahamas
Amount Awarded

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Virgil Storr
Institution Mercatus Center, Inc.

Understanding the mechanisms by which communities respond to and recover from disasters is vital to understanding resilience.

A project from a team led by Virgil Storr at the Mercatus Center explores challenges, successes, and prospects of post-Hurricane Dorian recovery in The Bahamas. It aims to uncover the best indicators of community and individual resilience after a natural disaster. 

Storr has previously studied societal responses to natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Hurricane Sandy in New York/New Jersey. This research has uncovered key characteristics of immediate response that highly correlate with a community's ability to recover and thrive after a devastating event.

Some of the same data collection and field methodology undertaken in this previous research will be applied to this new project. The team will conduct semi-structured interviews with residents attempting to rebuild in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as those still displaced. The project will examine Post-Dorian recovery in these communities, the limits of the government’s response, the importance of international relief, and the potential of bottom-up efforts at recovery.

The project will consider:

  • What were the pre-Dorian socio-economic circumstances in the affected area?
  • What were the effects of the storm and what were the varied Dorian experiences in the affected communities?
  • What were the early challenges and successes in post-Dorian recovery?
  • How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact recovery efforts?
  • How should we understand the prospects of post-Dorian recovery?

This work potentially has implications for a wider disaster planning and response mechanisms that are desperately needed in the region.

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