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The flood recovery gap: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull, North East England

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2014
JournalJournal Of Flood Risk Management
Early online date24/03/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Learning to live with flood requires learning to manage flood recovery. While in the United Kingdom much attention has been given to improving preparedness to flood events – from more sophisticated warning systems to the development of flood event planning – we bring attention to in-depth research on the processes of recovery and the challenges of addressing what we call the flood ‘recovery gap’. A growing body of research has documented the social, economic and health impacts of flooding, and the relationship between social and physical parameters of community resilience and preparedness. However, there remains a dearth of understanding about the processes people go through in recovering from flood disasters in the United Kingdom and the ways in which improving the experience of recovery can enhance resilience. Indeed, because resilience is defined in part by the time it takes to recover, it is imperative that more effective recovery is established. This article reports on the findings of a real-time longitudinal study using an action research model to document and understand the everyday experiences of individuals following the floods of June 2007 in Hull. We argue that recovery involves a more varied process than is assumed within current accounts, one which falls between institutional boundaries. We conclude with suggestions for addressing the ‘recovery gap’.