Information infrastructures facilitate communication between community stakeholders through a combination of organizational, technological, and human systems and processes. These systems and processes are fundamental to postdisaster recovery. Although postdisaster community resilience is often framed in terms of physical and social infrastructure, information infrastructure serves as a vital link between stakeholders as they allow crucial information to be exchanged after a disaster event. This study uses information infrastructure and contingency theory to examine stakeholder perceptions of the effectiveness of existing information infrastructures after the floods on September 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. Local stakeholders revealed that information infrastructure breakdowns and failures, defined here as information deficits, often hindered coordinated recovery efforts. To identify postdisaster information deficits, the research team interviewed local government officials, homeowners, and volunteers involved with initial flood response or recovery efforts. Five types of information deficits were discerned on the basis of these interviews: stakeholder coordination, data management, social disengagement, technical failures, and others. The analysis of these interviews suggests that information deficits are often common features of postdisaster information infrastructures and lead to decreased stakeholder perception of community disaster resilience.
Arneson, E., Deniz, D., Javernick-Will, A., Liel, A., and Dashti, S. (2017). “Information Deficits and Community Disaster Resilience.” Natural Hazards Review. 18 (4), 04017010. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000251