Assessing the Socio-Political Context of Disaster Recovery in Coastal Oregon (2012-14)

Lori Cramer
Oregon State University, Sociology
Fairbanks Hall 309A
Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3703
Phone: 541 737 5382

When an earthquake, tsunami, or other coastal hazard strikes, coordinating community responses is a challenge.  Which neighborhoods will get help first?  Which won’t get any help at all?  Some communities will rise to the occasion, with neighbors helping neighbors.  Others will be more vulnerable.  Some will be serviced by existing municipal emergency responders.  Others will not.

This study will inventory three coastal communities to understand their capacities for responding to natural hazards.  Dr. Cramer aims to identify socio-political networks through which disaster management agencies (formal government entities and informal community organizations) communicate, acquire resources, and interact with community groups, with particular attention to vulnerable sections of the population.  Ultimately, improving communication, enhancing participation by diverse stakeholders, and strengthening community resilience will have far-reaching effects for other communities within and outside of Oregon.

This project is aligned with several Oregon Sea Grant priorities, including Community Resilience to Coastal Hazards and Climate Change, and will seek meaningful participation from a range of stakeholders, who will be actively engaged in key phases of the research and outreach process.