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Buildings 2016, 6(2), 14; doi:10.3390/buildings6020014

Family Structures, Relationships, and Housing Recovery Decisions after Hurricane Sandy

1
Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, Texas Tech University, Box 41023, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
2
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, Box 41230, Lubbock, TX 79416, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chaminda Pathirage
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hurricane Sandy; relocation; family structures; family relationships; vignette Hurricane Sandy; relocation; family structures; family relationships; vignette
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nejat, A.; Cong, Z.; Liang, D. Family Structures, Relationships, and Housing Recovery Decisions after Hurricane Sandy. Buildings 2016, 6, 14.

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