Impacts of Recent U.S. Disasters on Businesses: The 1993 Midwest Floods and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake

Tierney, Kathleen J.
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Disaster Research Center
This paper presents findings from two Disaster Research Center surveys on disaster-related business impacts. The first study, conducted in 1994, focuses on the ways in which the 1993 Midwest floods affected the operations of businesses in Des Moines/Polk County Iowa; the second project, which was recently completed, uses a similar methodological approach to assess the impacts of the 1994 Northridge earthquake on businesses in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, CA. Both studies utilize large representative samples that include both large and small firms and a range of business types. Topics discussed in the paper include physical damage to business properties; lifeline service interruption; rates of and reasons for business closure and relocation; use of insurance, Small Business Administration loans, and other sources of disaster recovery assistance; and proprietors' assessments of business recovery and well-being at the time the surveys were conducted.
economic impact , disaster , Northridge earthquake , midwest floods , disaster recovery