The storm after the storm: the long-term lingering impacts of hurricanes on schools
Disaster Prevention and Management
Article publication date: 14 January 2021
Issue publication date: 8 July 2021
The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe the long-term impacts of hurricanes on schools and discuss approaches to improving recovery efforts.
Interviews with 20 school districts in Texas and North Carolina after Hurricanes Harvey (2017) and Matthew (2016). In total, 115 interviews were conducted with teachers, principals, district superintendents and representatives from state education agencies. Interview questions focused on the impact of storms and strategies for recovery.
The authors uncovered three long-term impacts of hurricanes on schools: (1) constrained instructional time, (2) increased social-emotional needs and (3) the need to support educators.
This paper focuses on two storms, in two states, in two successive years. Data collection occurred in Texas, one academic year after the storm. As compared to the North Carolina, data collection occurred almost two academic years after the storm.
This paper illuminates strategies for stakeholders to implement and expedite hurricane recovery through; (1) updating curricula plans, (2) providing long-term counselors and (3) supporting educators in and out of school.
To date, very few studies have explored the ways in which schools face long-term impacts following a disaster. This paper provides insight to the challenges that prolong the impacts of disasters and impede recovery in schools. With hurricanes and related disasters continuing to affect schooling communities, more research is needed to identify the best ways to support schools, months to years after an event.
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation - Reference number 1760584.This paper forms part of a special section “Disasters, Children and Comprehensive School Safety”, guest edited by Ziqiang Han, Marla Petal, and Qiang Zhang.
Davis, C.R., Cannon, S.R. and Fuller, S.C. (2021), "The storm after the storm: the long-term lingering impacts of hurricanes on schools", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 264-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-03-2020-0055
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