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The Importance of Rebuilding after a Major Hurricane  

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By Alison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Hurricane Harvey was one of the most severe and traumatic storms in U.S. history. Watching fellow citizens lose everything they owned and cared about was unpleasant, to say the least.

It is hard to imagine how communities would want to rebuild after such a destructive hurricane. But it is important to rebuild and prove the resiliency of affected communities.

For those who have never been directly affected by a major hurricane, it is easy to judge what one should and shouldn’t do when faced with the reality of losing everything. However, rebuilding a community is what creates and fosters resiliency.

The Cynicism Caused by Rebuilding in Disaster-Prone Communities

Despite the overwhelming compassion many Americans feel for the victims of disasters, there is also a rather cynical response from some who say, “They should not rebuild in that same location. They’ll only go through it again.”

Based on statistical data from the National Hurricane Center, it is difficult to predict whether the same type of storm would hit the same area again. Either way, a rebuilt community would be different after recovering from a storm such as Harvey. The community would have newer resources and better building materials that would lessen the damage caused by a recurrence of a disaster.

Rebuilding Is Important for Community Healing

In the past few years, there has been a lot of scholarly research into the concept of community resiliency. Community organizations such as churches and schools can help a community bounce back quickly after a major catastrophe. Like many other concepts, community resiliency incorporates a number of manifestations.

Rebuilding a community after a major disaster is a particularly important component in the healing process. Although it is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, rebuilding is vital because community residents need to bounce back and return to normal life as quickly as possible. Rebuilding helps to heal the feelings of disaster victims and improves the spirits of the people directly affected by a traumatic event.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.