Family structures, relationships, and housing recovery decisions after Hurricane Sandy

Ali Nejat, Zhen Cong, Daan Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding of the recovery phase of a disaster cycle is still in its infancy. Recent major disasters such as Hurricane Sandy have revealed the inability of existing policies and planning to promptly restore infrastructure, residential properties, and commercial activities in affected communities. In this setting, a thorough grasp of housing recovery decisions can lead to effective post-disaster planning by policyholders and public officials. The objective of this research is to integrate vignette and survey design to study how family bonds affected rebuilding/relocating decisions after Hurricane Sandy. Multinomial logistic regression was used to investigate respondents' family structures before Sandy and explore whether their relationships with family members changed after Sandy. The study also explores the effect of the aforementioned relationship and its changes on households' plans to either rebuild/repair their homes or relocate. These results were compared to another multinomial logistic regression which was applied to examine the impact of familial bonds on respondents' suggestions to a vignette family concerning rebuilding and relocating after a hurricane similar to Sandy. Results indicate that respondents who lived with family members before Sandy were less likely to plan for relocating than those who lived alone. A more detailed examination shows that this effect was driven by those who improved their relationships with family members; those who did not improve their family relationships were not significantly different from those who lived alone, when it came to rebuilding/relocation planning. Those who improved their relationships with family members were also less likely to suggest that the vignette family relocate. This study supports the general hypothesis that family bonds reduce the desire to relocate, and provides empirical evidence that family mechanisms are important for the rebuilding/relocating decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalBuildings
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • Family relationships
  • Family structures
  • Hurricane Sandy
  • Relocation
  • Vignette

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