“Identifying Recovery from the Bottom Up: Using photovoice to evaluate community resilience, mitigation strategies and recovery processes in Southern Puerto Rico”

Authors: Lorence Morell-Vega*, Binghamton University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Qualitative Methods, Caribbean Geographies
Keywords: Mitigation, preparedness, community resilience, photovoice, methods, natural disasters
Session Type: Virtual Guided Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 53
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This poster presentation explores disaster mitigation and preparedness efforts from the community perspective and how these are related to community resilience processes as a result from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and recent earthquakes in January 2020. In order to learn from these communities and their ongoing work regarding disaster community resilience, the common characteristic for selected communities relies on the organizational structure created after the natural disasters to respond and recover, overcoming the lack of help and resources from local and state government. This research used the photovoice method to collect the information from selected communities. The of photovoice is a participatory method that gives a vividly engagement between the researcher and participants to map local necessities -either individually or collective- and their input for the implementation of mitigation and preparedness actions which is one of the main focusses of this project. Therefore, the voice of the participants is important and using photos can help this research explain the importance of community resilience and its organizational structure in implementing mitigation and preparedness actions or strategies, as well as identifying areas of concern and lessons learned from past natural disasters. Due to COVID-19 and in person restrictions, this method has been adapted to a virtual process where platforms such as Zoom, and Survey 123 have been used to achieve the objectives of the research. Adapting this method serves to gather qualitative primary data when there is a challenge to capture in situ and still maintain a participatory approach from participants.

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