After Great Disasters

An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery

Laurie A. Johnson, Robert B. Olshansky

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

After Great Disasters

Pub Date: June 2017

ISBN: 9781558443310

376 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00

Pub Date: July 2016

ISBN: 9781558443389

376 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $20.00

After Great Disasters

An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery

Laurie A. Johnson, Robert B. Olshansky

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Great natural disasters are rare, but their aftermath can change the fortunes of a city or region forever. This book and its companion Policy Focus Report identify lessons from different parts of the world to help communities and government leaders better organize for recovery after future disasters. The authors consider the processes and outcomes of community recovery and reconstruction following major disasters in six countries: China, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. If done well, reconstruction can help break the cycle of disaster-related impacts and losses, and improve the resilience of a city or region. 
After Great Disasters offers one of the most well-researched accounts of large-scale, post-disaster recovery programs in several countries. The case studies highlight the common strands of successful recovery programs: effective governance, intensive planning, transparent implementation, and civic participation. The book raises the complex issues and trade-offs underlying recovery programs and takes a nuanced view of recovery, which balances rebuilding livelihoods and social networks with reconstructing houses and infrastructure. This book is essential reading for students and practitioners of post-disaster recovery.”
“If you live in an area that might experience a major disaster, buy and read this book now. If you haven’t already read it when a disaster occurs, find a copy and read it carefully. It provides a wealth of advice about the challenges you will experience during recovery and suggests how to organize your recovery efforts to the best effect.”
After Great Disasters is best read by civic leaders before the next hurricane, earthquake, or terrorist attack. Its crisp and cogent review of what worked and what didn’t after the world’s recent large disasters ought to be mandatory reading, which could make the difference between a community’s renaissance or stagnation.”
"The book is an important contribution to the practice of recovery and reconstruction. The lessons emerging from these case studies bring clarity to the complex recovery processes and provide insights into institutions, finances, policies, and programs—essential building blocks of recovery. We have learned enormously from this book and have used it on a regular basis to assist the countries affected by disasters.”

About the Author

Laurie A. Johnson, Ph.D., AICP, is an internationally recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery and catastrophe risk management. She has an extensive portfolio of disaster recovery expertise following earthquakes, landslides, floods, hurricanes, and man-made disasters across the United States and the world. In 2006, she was a lead author of the recovery plan for the City of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina; she then co-authored the book Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans with Robert Olshansky.Robert B. Olshansky, Ph.D., FAICP, is professor and head of the department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he has taught for more than 26 years. He has published extensively on post-disaster recovery planning, policy for earthquake risks, hillside planning and landslide policy, and environmental impact assessment. He co-authored Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans with Laurie Johnson, as well as the report Opportunity in Chaos: Rebuilding after teh 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe Earthquakes with Laurie Johnson and Ken Topping.