During the 2005 storm season, hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, and Rita significantly disrupted business infrastructure along the American Gulf Coast. In New Orleans alone, the aftermath of the mega-disaster closed 18,000 businesses and caused over 1,300 deaths. The mega-disaster also closed thousands of businesses in coastal Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi with damage estimated between $40 and $50 billion. The quantitative, correlational study investigated relationships between the availability of business infrastructure during the mega-disaster and Gulf Coast small business leaders’ perceptions of disaster management. The study examined perceptions of Gulf coast small business leaders who sustained business operations during the 2005 storm season. A statistically significant correlation emerged between small business leaders’ perceived pre-disaster planning and perceived severity of actual events. The correlation between the perceived severity of actual events and small business leaders’ perceptions of the post-disaster response was insignificant. Findings suggested that perceptions about the severity of the actual disaster were disconnected from participants’ perceptions about the post-disaster response. Although small business leaders perceived there was major damage from the hurricanes, the data did not reflect perceptions that a disaster response that was similar to the major damage along the Gulf Coast. Results from the study suggested businesses have different needs based on whether operations are traditional brick and mortar or Internet-based organizations. Study findings suggested a need for segmented disaster planning to avoid generic disaster approaches, disaster planning incorporating local community insight, and further research leading to improvement in disaster planning or disaster response.
|Advisor:||Rouse, Ruby A.|
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||American disaster management, Business infrastructure, Disaster response, Leadership, Mega-disasters, Small business|
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