Presentation Title

Social Capital and Resilience Planning: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irene and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Vermont

Presenter's Name(s)

Megan RoushFollow

Abstract

Vermont has been increasingly focused on reducing disaster impacts and enhancing resilience since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and now with the COVID-19 pandemic. After Irene, contributions of social capital to post-disaster resilience were evident in Vermont. They included recovery group formations driven by informal community efforts via bonding and bridging social capital. This research focuses on the current context of COVID-19 and how social capital and post-Irene resilience planning have helped with resilience during the pandemic. Drawing on a thorough literature review to consider disaster preparedness measures taken after Tropical Storm Irene, changes in social capital in Vermont after the storm, and the potential for Vermont's social capital to mitigate the current effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Structured and semi-structured interviews with citizens, government, organizations, and significant stakeholders related to disaster management in Vermont will be carried out. A network analysis will also be completed to illuminate the different actors' roles in response to COVID-19 and the possible relationship with social capital. These findings will be helpful for looking at strategies to cope with potential future disasters and enhance community resilience.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Travis Reynolds

Status

Graduate

Student College

Graduate College

Program/Major

Community Development and Applied Economics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Vermont Studies

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Social Capital and Resilience Planning: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irene and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Vermont

Vermont has been increasingly focused on reducing disaster impacts and enhancing resilience since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and now with the COVID-19 pandemic. After Irene, contributions of social capital to post-disaster resilience were evident in Vermont. They included recovery group formations driven by informal community efforts via bonding and bridging social capital. This research focuses on the current context of COVID-19 and how social capital and post-Irene resilience planning have helped with resilience during the pandemic. Drawing on a thorough literature review to consider disaster preparedness measures taken after Tropical Storm Irene, changes in social capital in Vermont after the storm, and the potential for Vermont's social capital to mitigate the current effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Structured and semi-structured interviews with citizens, government, organizations, and significant stakeholders related to disaster management in Vermont will be carried out. A network analysis will also be completed to illuminate the different actors' roles in response to COVID-19 and the possible relationship with social capital. These findings will be helpful for looking at strategies to cope with potential future disasters and enhance community resilience.