Demographics and the Dynamics of Recovery: A Latent Class Analysis of Disaster Recovery Priorities after the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

March 2018 (VOL. 36, NO. 1)

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Many factors influence decisions made by households impacted by major disasters, including decisions related to rebuilding their homes in situ or relocating to a new home. Our understanding of how recovery priorities play into these decisions, however, is limited, as is our understanding of how these processes vary according to demographic characteristics. This study explored drivers of household residential decision-making after the 2013 Moore, OK, tornado. Using Latent Class Analysis, we examined the dynamic relationship between demographic characteristics, hazard exposure, and recovery priorities, with an emphasis on factors that influenced households to rebuild and remain in their original community. Our results indicate that demographics and hazard exposure dynamically influence the relative importance of several factors households considered in making residential decisions. Implications related to disaster recovery priorities and residential decision-making are discussed, including the potential development of generalizable models for use by emergency managers in predicting housing recovery priorities and prioritizing recovery actions.