Qualitative Analysis of the Lived Experience of Tornado Survivors and Factors Affecting Community Resilience: A Case Study of an EF3 Tornado in Jacksonville, Alabama

Chongming Wang aCenter for Disaster and Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama

Search for other papers by Chongming Wang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Erin Rider aCenter for Disaster and Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama

Search for other papers by Erin Rider in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Scott Manning aCenter for Disaster and Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama

Search for other papers by Scott Manning in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Jacob Fast aCenter for Disaster and Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama

Search for other papers by Jacob Fast in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Tanveer Islam aCenter for Disaster and Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama

Search for other papers by Tanveer Islam in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Free access

Abstract

Residents in the Southeast region of the United States are frequently threatened by tornadoes. Previous research indicates that it is important to study the experience of tornado victims to better understand individual risk perception, preparedness, protective action, response, and recovery strategies that contribute to overall community resilience. In this study, we employ an oral-history approach and analyze the lived experience of survivors of an EF3 (on the enhanced Fujita scale) tornado in Jacksonville, Alabama. Using snowball sampling, we conducted in-depth interviews of 25 residents of Jacksonville, Alabama, who experienced the EF3 tornado on 19 March 2018. The recorded interviews were analyzed using qualitative software. Most of the participants described the support system and the range of resources accessible through the network of relations as the critical factors that facilitated recovery and contributed to resilience. The majority also emphasized the importance of being prepared and proactive when addressing future storms, but some of their actions revealed that they were also used to being reactive. The participants were either long-term residents (homeowners) or transient college students (renters), and the data gave insight into different recovery paths and challenges. Further, findings revealed ongoing trauma and recovery challenges due to the extensive, unexpected damage and the lack of temporary housing and contractor availability often associated with small, rural towns. This research aims to provide a scientific basis for improved efforts in preparedness and protective actions as well as in response and recovery strategies in tornado events and for identifying factors of community resilience in tornado-prone areas.

Significance Statement

Grounded in the narratives and reflections of the participants on their tornado experiences, the oral-history interviews generated important insights into psychological–behavioral responses to a disaster, as well as key building blocks of resilience, adding to the body of research surrounding disaster impact and vulnerability, especially for small, rural towns. The preserved voices, stories, and social memory are expected to benefit current and future generations of the community facing similar threats. The findings of this study will further help to inform better practice of local emergency managers and government officials for promoting public awareness of tornadoes and other weather-related risks so as to be more prepared for future extreme weather events.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Tanveer Islam, tislam@jsu.edu

Abstract

Residents in the Southeast region of the United States are frequently threatened by tornadoes. Previous research indicates that it is important to study the experience of tornado victims to better understand individual risk perception, preparedness, protective action, response, and recovery strategies that contribute to overall community resilience. In this study, we employ an oral-history approach and analyze the lived experience of survivors of an EF3 (on the enhanced Fujita scale) tornado in Jacksonville, Alabama. Using snowball sampling, we conducted in-depth interviews of 25 residents of Jacksonville, Alabama, who experienced the EF3 tornado on 19 March 2018. The recorded interviews were analyzed using qualitative software. Most of the participants described the support system and the range of resources accessible through the network of relations as the critical factors that facilitated recovery and contributed to resilience. The majority also emphasized the importance of being prepared and proactive when addressing future storms, but some of their actions revealed that they were also used to being reactive. The participants were either long-term residents (homeowners) or transient college students (renters), and the data gave insight into different recovery paths and challenges. Further, findings revealed ongoing trauma and recovery challenges due to the extensive, unexpected damage and the lack of temporary housing and contractor availability often associated with small, rural towns. This research aims to provide a scientific basis for improved efforts in preparedness and protective actions as well as in response and recovery strategies in tornado events and for identifying factors of community resilience in tornado-prone areas.

Significance Statement

Grounded in the narratives and reflections of the participants on their tornado experiences, the oral-history interviews generated important insights into psychological–behavioral responses to a disaster, as well as key building blocks of resilience, adding to the body of research surrounding disaster impact and vulnerability, especially for small, rural towns. The preserved voices, stories, and social memory are expected to benefit current and future generations of the community facing similar threats. The findings of this study will further help to inform better practice of local emergency managers and government officials for promoting public awareness of tornadoes and other weather-related risks so as to be more prepared for future extreme weather events.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Tanveer Islam, tislam@jsu.edu

1. Introduction

Tornado risk is common in the Southeast region of the United States, which experiences high numbers of tornado fatalities relative to some areas of the Great Plains (Broomell et al. 2020; Ashley 2007). On 19 March 2018, 22 tornadoes struck in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, of which an EF3 tornado and an EF1 tornado (as categorized using the enhanced Fujita scale) struck Alabama and an EF2 touched down in Georgia (NWS 2018a). Fortunately, no deaths occurred, but injuries were reported.

The EF3 tornado that caused devastation in Jacksonville, Alabama, and surrounding areas entered the city of Jacksonville around 2100 central time with winds around 140 mi h−1 (∼63 m s−1). The tornado affected almost the entire campus of Jacksonville State University (JSU), impacting 50 of the 70 buildings, a few of which, including Merrill Hall, suffered total losses, at a cost of more than $100 million (Fox 2019). As the tornado moved in an east–southeast direction toward the Georgia state line, it became stronger, with winds estimated at 150 mi h−1 (∼67 m s−1) and damaged many homes and downed thousands of trees in the surrounding area, including the Talladega National Forest (NWS 2018b).

Disaster-risk reduction has often focused on individuals’ risk perception and degree of protective action taken. In disaster-prone areas, residents may have more awareness of risk and heightened concern, and/or they may normalize the risk and feel less inclined to be concerned. In this study, we had the opportunity to explore disaster-risk perception, preparedness level, property damage, trauma, resource and support network mobilization, recovery processes, and informed disaster resilience. Qualitative data were collected on individuals’ recollection of the disaster event and their experiences of recovery for the EF3 tornado that struck Jacksonville. The sample comprises community residents (mainly homeowners) with long-term residency in Jacksonville and college students (renters), many of whom are from the region. What was unique about this tornado is that despite the weather information reporting risk, the area had not experienced a tornado in many years. The most recent damaging tornado outbreak occurred in April 2011, and there was a direct strike approximately 18 miles away. Although there were no fatalities, the disaster led to both short- and long-term housing challenges, including total loss, and ongoing trauma. Assumptions have been made that the lack of deaths was partially a result of many college students being away at the time on spring break (19 March was the first day of spring break). One of the student apartments was directly struck by the tornado. This study explores the nuances of a major tornado strike on a community with mixed levels of preparedness, resources, and recovery options, based on in-depth accounts of personal experience with the Jacksonville, Alabama, tornado on 19 March 2018. The study aims to collect, preserve, and share the stories of resilience of tornado survivors as well as to provide inspiration to help individuals or communities at risk from similar threats in the future. The study is expected to add to the larger historical narrative of tornado risk, expand the scholarly understanding of disaster experience and the nature of disaster resilience, and inform better emergency management practices for reducing disaster risks and vulnerability.

2. Literature review

a. Resilience

The term “resilience” has been used in many disciplines from ecology to engineering, but no commonly accepted definition has been used across all disciplines (CARRI 2013). The root word resilo is found in Latin, which means “to spring back,” usually referring to “elasticity” (Klein et al. 2003). In ecology, Holling (1973, p. 14) first used resilience to describe a “measure of the persistence of systems and their ability to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables.” In engineering, resilience is the ability to absorb or avoid damage without suffering complete failure (Jennings et al. 2013). In disaster research, resilience is generally focused on preparedness or preventive measures to reduce the hazard impacts and postdisaster response and recovery efforts to cope with the changing environment (Bruneau et al. 2003; Tierney and Bruneau 2007; Cutter et al. 2008). Although these measures include both engineered and social systems, this study emphasizes social and behavioral aspects of community resilience based on in-depth interviews.

b. Risk perception

Risk perception is the cognitive process of evaluating the likelihood of experiencing negative impacts (e.g., loss of property, physical injury, death) from natural or technological hazards. Risk perception is important to risk/crisis communication and disaster response because it influences not only what risks people care about but also how they prepare and respond to those risks. In fact, risk perception has been found to directly correlate with people’s preparedness intentions, as well as their decisions to adopt protective actions in response to a given threat or hazard event (Terpstra and Lindell 2013; Duan et al. 2020). Several theoretical models have been developed to explain how people perceive risks, process risk information, and then reconcile the differences between these cognitive processes (perception and information) to make response and protective action decisions (Paek and Hove 2017). Across these theoretical models, experts (risk analysts) are often described as grounding their perceptions of risks in existing research and statistical evidence, while nonexperts (regular people) tend to evaluate risks on the basis of their own observations, social interactions, subjective assessments, and intuitive judgements (Perry and Lindell 2007; Lindell and Perry 2012; Paek and Hove 2017; Slovic 2010; Tierney et al. 2001).

While several theoretical models currently exist to explain risk perception and protective action responses/behavior, the protective action decision model (PADM) is particularly relevant to the current study, as it remains one of the most prevalent and well-tested models in the literature. Moreover, PADM purposely integrates the perspectives from other risk-perception models (and theories) with the findings of disaster research to help explain the factors and processes that influence people’s adoption of protective actions when faced with natural and technological hazards (Lindell et al. 2006). According to the model, the process of protective action decision-making begins with an individual’s assessment of incoming warning messages on one hand and a corresponding assessment of any remarkable changes in environmental conditions (i.e., environmental cues) and social behavior (i.e., social cues) on the other (Perry and Lindell 2007). Although PADM illustrates a linear (or staged) sequence, Lindell and Perry (2012) indicate that individuals may not follow or successfully move through each stage in any specific order. As a result, PADM describes how people typically make decisions about protective action when faced with impending natural and technological hazards and disasters (Perry and Lindell 2007; Lindell and Perry 2012; Lindell et al. 2006).

c. Social capital

While the concept of social capital has been defined in varying ways from disparate angles (e.g., Bourdieu 2011; Coleman 1988; Putnam 1995), the common thread points to the importance of social networks that people can claim access to and gain resources from to generate some beneficial outcomes. As an integral part of social capital (Portes 1998; Lin 1999), social networks have often been examined in juxtaposition to social capital, and different types of social ties are asserted to provide different functions. For example, strong ties (Granovetter 1973) are primarily associated with the concept of bonding social capital, which refers to strong and dense relations between individuals with similar socioeconomic and demographic standing (Putnam 2000; Woolcock 2001; Szreter and Woolcock 2004). This type of relationship exhibits a high degree of homogeneity and is effective in fostering reciprocity and trust and engendering emotional closeness, social support, and crisis aid. In contrast, weak ties (Granovetter 1973) are often tied to the notion of bridging social capital, which refers to heterogeneous horizontal relations between people with dissimilar backgrounds (Putnam 2000; Woolcock 2001; Szreter and Woolcock 2004). Weak ties, as opposed to strong ties, are believed to enhance access to valuable resources and information outside the immediate circle of family and close friends. More recently, the value of a third type—linking social capital—is acknowledged in the literature, which refers to vertical and hierarchical ties that connect people in different social strata and through which people can leverage resources, ideas, and information from institutions beyond normal community linkages (Woolcock 2001; Szreter 2002; Szreter and Woolcock 2004). In the context of disasters, the presence of social capital has consistently been found to help buffer the consequences of disasters and facilitate recovery and resilience across different types of disasters and cultures through the sharing of knowledge and information and mobilizing resources and support across different hazards such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes (e.g., Hawkins and Maurer 2010; Aldrich 2012; Stofferahn 2012; Aldrich and Meyer 2015; Sadri et al. 2018; Hamideh and Sen 2022).

d. Recovery roadblocks

Several studies have examined the emotional distress and trauma experienced by disaster victims/survivors (Heid et al. 2017; Prost et al. 2016; Guo et al. 2013; Afifi et al. 2012). Given the presumption for disaster survivors to aid in their recovery process by employing resources and seeking out social support, emotional distress and trauma hinder these efforts. Importantly, Benight and Harper (2002, p. 184) argue that “disasters force individuals to solve immediate problems they most likely have never encountered (e.g., finding water, repairing or rebuilding homes, intrusive thoughts of the trauma).” These stressors compound, as the present study found property damage, short-term relocation, and mental health associated with the disaster impact and coping process. The more physical items that are destroyed, the longer the recovery experience will be. A slower recovery will be experienced if assistance is received from private insurance companies (Sadri et al. 2018). Resilience efforts to respond to the impact of the disaster and engage in recovery are shaped by the coping processes of the trauma itself. Emotional distress in the present study was based on the tornado impact, including fears of not surviving; ongoing stress, such as fears of bad weather and sleeping problems; significant property damage, including total losses, short- and long-term housing challenges; and disruption to one’s sense of normalcy, including meaningful items, such as family keepsakes and items of sentimental value.

3. Method

This study focuses on community residents and university students who experienced an EF3 tornado in a rural city in the Southeast region of the United States. Qualitative interviews were conducted to examine the stages of the disaster based on three general themes, asking participants 1) how they were affected by the tornado, 2) their resilience story, and 3) what they would carry forward from the experience. These general themes included specific prompts to allow participants to elaborate on their experience and for the interviewers to gain more clarification of the experiences. The original aim of how the research was presented to the public was based on oral histories; thus, participants were informed of the study for both research purposes and use of the audio-recorded interviews to create an oral-history collection on the tornado to be made available free to the public through the JSU Houston Cole Library’s digital archive. Oral histories have been used to document disaster impact for research and education purposes and provide authentic portraits of the significance and meanings of individuals’ disaster experiences (e.g., Hammock et al. 2019; Sloan 2008). This method of inquiry is well suited for us to understand the tornado’s impact and for community residents in a rural town to hear one another’s experiences and achieve a richer understanding of disaster recovery and resiliency.

a. Recruitment

The recruitment sampling used is a snowball method to ensure convenient sampling and increased opportunities for individuals to voluntarily participate in the study. Snowball sampling allows participants to partake in the recruitment of others and inform others of the research opportunity. We developed informative flyers asking for voluntary participants; these flyers were distributed via formal communication channels at the university (email) and social media and were physically advertised in the local community at public places, mainly libraries and community organizations. We began recruitment of participants 11 months after the tornado impact. It was necessary to delay the interviews because the tornado damage was extensive. This also allowed participants time to emotionally adjust and regain normalcy. Recruitment of participants occurred for 6 months. We oriented our qualitative interviews to how participants recalled their experiences. Because the tornado was a major life event, participants had vivid details of their experiences, and many were still in the stages of recovery. However, memory decay may have limited the accurate recollection of emotional reactions and risk perceptions (Wu 2020). Interested participants contacted the researchers using email, and the scheduling of the interview was arranged via email. A few respondents did not reply to our email response. We sent one additional follow-up email a couple of months later to determine whether the respondent was still interested.

b. Interviews

We conducted interviews with 25 participants. Upon a participant reaching out to the researchers expressing interest in participating, we scheduled an individual interview in a public building using a private room. Participants were given a consent form, informed that they could ask questions, and asked if they would be willing for their interview to be audio recorded. Confidentiality was maintained, and the interviews did not ask for any specific identifying information, such as names or residential address. All participants who contacted the researchers consented to the study, audio recording, and fully completed the interview process. Open-ended interview questions were categorized into general themes about individuals’ tornado experience. Follow-up open-ended prompts were used at times to garner more details from participants, such as “how was your life disrupted” and/or “what were your greatest challenges?” The interviews ranged from 40 min to 1.5 h. Participants did not receive compensation for their participation. Audio recordings were transcribed using Otter.ai, a free online service that converts speech to text (Lai 2022). Once the interview was transcribed, accuracy was determined by listening to each audio recording and editing inaccuracies in the transcribed document.

c. Demographics

Prior to the start of the interview, in addition to reading and completing the consent form, participants were also asked to complete a brief survey to assess general demographic information. The surveys were anonymous and did not include identifying information, except for the general location of their place of residence. The survey asked demographic information related to age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, educational level, employment status, income, length of residence, and prior tornado experience.

The sample consisted of 25 residents of Jacksonville, Alabama, who claimed personal experience with the March 2018 tornado. Personal experience was based on including the following information on recruitment and consent forms: “We are particularly interested in how people were affected by the tornado and how they coped with the aftermath in ways that helped them to adapt and adjust to the ‘new normal.’” Our first general question was “How were you affected by the tornado?” All participants indicated direct experience in the tornado’s path. The participants were predominately female (78.3%) and white (87.0%), with a median age range of 35–44 years old. Among the participants, the median educational attainment was a bachelor’s degree, and the median total household income range (2018) spanned from $30 001 to $45 000. Overall, the respondents have lived in Jacksonville for a considerable amount of time (median of 10 years). For marital status, 56.5% were single and 39.1% were married or in a domestic partnership. For employment status, 60.9% of the respondents were employed, 17.4% were students, and 17.4% were retired. For previous tornado experience, those that answered “no” outnumbered those that answered “yes” (56.5% vs 43.5%). At the time of the tornado, the respondents tended to have a smaller number of people (including the respondents themselves) living in the household (median of 2 people) with no children under 18 years of age (median of 0 people); the median number of individuals employed (including the respondents themselves) was 1.

d. Data coding

We used MAXQDA (using a subscription-based license), a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software package, to analyze the qualitative data (MAXQDA 2022). A coding guide was developed organized under several themes. The themes include preparedness (e.g., weather perception), protective action (e.g., safe place), affect (e.g., complacency), impact (e.g., trauma), response and early recovery (e.g., mobilization of resources), recovery challenges (e.g., temporary housing), and resilience strategies (e.g., support networks). Among the researchers, three dyads were created in which two researchers analyzed a set of either 5 or 10 transcriptions. Cross-coding comparisons were made to determine the reliability of interpretations of codes using the software tool for intercoder reliability, which we set at 80%. The two researchers coded data independently using the coding scheme and then worked together to compare, combine, and evaluate the codes using the software tools. Some new codes emerged (e.g., strained relationship under “impact,” survivor’s guilt under “affect,” health concerns under “recovery challenges”). The researchers also evaluated the current code list to determine how codes were applied and addressed issues of vague and overlapping codes, as well as fit to specific sections of transcriptions. We set parameters to link codes to no more than two lines or two sentences of the text, and often multiple codes applied. Our data analysis also included assessing the code usage/frequency.

4. Data analysis and results

a. Preparedness and protective action

1) Preparedness

Prior to and during the tornado, respondents received weather updates from different sources. Some received email notifications from the local emergency management agency (EMA), text messages from the National Weather Service, and updates from social media or weather “apps.” One female participant stated, “I got an email from the Calhoun County EMA, you know, just notifying that there was potential for a tornado and part of my job is to let the people that work at the site know.” The respondent was well-informed, as she also got text messages from the Weather Channel app and from the National Weather Service. However, as she mentioned, it was part of her job to be aware and let others know at work. Participant 18 mentioned watching the weather on an app because they did not have cable service. Among the respondents, 27.3% of female respondents said they were informed, as compared with 25% of male respondents. Because this was a major life event for both Jacksonville as a community and in individuals’ lived experiences, we relied on the detailed accounts provided by participants in recollecting that night on the basis of when they were informed of bad weather, tornado risk, and the direct line of the tornado.

Trust and credibility are key factors in risk communication (Renn and Levine 1991), especially in environmental decision-making. It is based on three determinants: knowledge and expertise, openness and honesty, and concern and care (Peters et al. 1997). Two participants (one female and one male) mentioned they followed the weather updates from J. Spann, who is a well-known broadcast meteorologist in this region with a vast number of followers on social media. Risk perception is also positively correlated with preparedness intentions and the public’s adoption of protective action recommendations (Terpstra and Lindell 2013; Duan et al. 2020). Among the study participants, 37.8% of female respondents described the weather prior to the tornado event, and 43.8% of male respondents mentioned it (Table 1).

Table 1

Preparedness of participants by gender.

Table 1

In our study only 7.6% of female and 12.4% of male respondents mentioned having insurance, and 11.9% of female and 9.4% of male respondents mentioned having a plan. None of the male participants had a preparedness kit ready, and only 7.7% of female participants mentioned it. The usage of apps by female and male was, respectively, only 7.7% and 9.4%.

2) Protective action

For protective action, communication was a major factor, and 41.2% of the respondents mentioned it; of them, 39.7% were female and 45.6% were male (Table 2). Most of them were communicating with their immediate family members via call or text messages. They recalled direct details of the conversations they had and the worry of the impending risk. One female participant stated, “The very first thing I did was text my mom and brother and tell them there’s a tornado coming.” Some were communicating through social media. For example, another female participant mentioned, “I was on Facebook, you know, saying I’m scared y’all, you know, to my friends, and then my mom was like, hey, you know, are you okay?”

Table 2

Protective action by gender.

Table 2

The next was safe place, with 25.4% of female and 21.1% of male respondents mentioning moving to a safe place before the tornado. Also, 18.1% of the respondents mentioned monitoring the event (18.3% female and 17.5% male). Respondents who were monitoring the weather updates on different platforms moved to a safe place immediately. One female participant stated, “We were watching TV and James Spann had come on the TV and said that people in Jacksonville needed to take cover, and so typical, we, you know, we did that, but it is more along the lines of I thought, okay, whatever, you know, we will go to the bathroom. And so, we are in the bathroom.”

b. Impact and affect

1) Property damage and loss of items

Based on the results of these interviews, the most salient area impacted following this event was property damage, which was reported by 96% of participants (Table 3). In addition to the high percentage of participants reporting property damage, most participants who did report this as a concern also mentioned it multiple times within their interviews (an average of more than eight mentions per participant), suggesting a relatively high level of focus on property concerns following the tornado in comparison with other impacted areas. Most damage to homes was caused by downed trees and limbs, wind impact to roofs, and subsequent water damage.

Table 3

Frequency of coded segments—physical impacts.

Table 3

The next most salient issues reported by participants were those of general problems and loss of items. General problems such as difficulty with transportation, logistical issues relating to relocation and resources, and uncertainty surrounding the state of participants’ homes and belongings following the tornado were reported by 68% of participants. Additionally, 72% reported loss of belongings as an area of personal impact, with numerous participants mentioning the loss of irreplaceable items, such as keepsakes, family heirlooms, or photos.

2) Trauma and residual effects

In addition to the property loss and logistical issues that participants encountered, more than half of participants (64%) reported trauma following the event, even though there were zero deaths and only four injuries (Table 3). Many participants described the fear of going through a direct hit from the tornado and the damage to their homes and belongings, as well as a significant disruption to their sense of normalcy. Research by Silver and Grek-Martin (2015, p. 40) has shown that “survivors experienced powerful emotions of grief, loss, and shock regardless of whether they suffered personal injury or physical loss as a result of the tornado. This finding supports previous research that suggests that the loss of familiar landscapes and routines, not individual property loss or personal injury, may be a better predictor of the psychological impacts suffered from disaster.” For example, participants described recurring fear and flashbacks during subsequent storms. As one female participant put it, “I had started panicking a lot and [my physician] kind of helped, like, she kind of talked me through it. And we came to the conclusion that I was having panic attacks and anxiety attacks, and she had said it was, like, a form of PTSD from the experience I had went through.”

Although not all participants were necessarily diagnosed with medical or mental health conditions, numerous participants reported similar impacts on their daily living, such as loss of sleep (40%) or physical injury (24%). Other impacted areas included transportation issues (48%), loss of electricity (80%), and a general loss of normalcy (40%).

It is not surprising, given the range of evident impacts experienced by participants, particularly with regard to trauma and personal loss, that participants also reported negative emotional impacts. Of the emotions reported by participants, fear was the most prominent, with 88% of participants reporting increased fear, including feeling scared and/or panicked during and following the tornado (Table 4). As one female participant stated, “It is definitely a challenge mentally to deal with . . . to deal with the fear, to deal with a panic that wants to come up naturally.” Other reported emotions included feelings of despair (56%), complacency (44%), anger (32%), and grief (28%). While many participants reported surprise at the level or type of damage, or simply being caught in such a significant event, others reported surprise at how well things turned out after the tornado, such as passing college courses and generally feeling lucky. In fact, despite reports of negative affect, 60% of participants reported feeling lucky or fortunate following the event.

Table 4

Frequency of coded segments—residual impacts.

Table 4

c. Response and early recovery

1) Mobilizing resources

The tornado event prompted survivors to mobilize their resources and networks during the immediate response and short-term recovery phases. In fact, nearly one-half of the study respondents (N = 12, or 48%) discussed mobilizing resources across 68 coded segments of text, representing 15.9% of the total coded segments for the immediate response and short-term recovery phases (Table 5). The study respondents often focused on gathering financial resources (e.g., wallets, cash, and credit cards) and other personal necessities, such as cellular telephones, clothing, soap, toothpaste, and so on. A smaller portion of respondents also focused on gathering utility items, such as candles, flashlights, and backpacks. Numerous respondents further relied on word of mouth, cellular telephone contacts, and social media postings to gather additional information about the storm’s impacts and the availability of nearby shelter and/or temporary housing facilities. Concerns for the immediate safety of others was also prominent in the respondent interviews, as nearly half of the female respondents and all the male respondents described going door to door to help other people.

Table 5

Frequency of coded segments—response and early recovery.

Table 5

2) Mobilizing networks

The ability to find not only shelter and temporary housing but also to get financial and material assistance led most respondents to seek help from others. In fact, more than one-half of the study respondents (N = 17, or 68%) discussed mobilizing networks across 90 coded segments of text, representing 21.0% of the total coded segments for the immediate response and short-term recovery phases (Table 5). Most respondents, especially those younger than 45 years of age, relied on their immediate and extended family networks for shelter (or housing) assistance and direct financial and material support. However, broader network support from friends, neighbors, and community organizations, such as churches and local nonprofit groups, was also evident across all respondent interviews. As previously noted, all male respondents often used their existing networks (e.g., friends and neighbors) to assist people in the immediate aftermath of the storm and to garner longer-term support for themselves, especially from close friends and family members. However, while following a similar pattern, the female respondents were more inclined to tap into their extended networks and use these connections to organize emergent recovery support systems. In turn, they were able to gather and distribute money, gift cards, and other critical goods (e.g., clothing, water, and hygiene products) to survivors throughout the short- and longer-term phases of the recovery process. In many cases, these female respondents relied on close friends and extended sorority contacts to initiate these supportive services but often joined with larger community groups and organizations over time to further expand their reach and better support those most in need. While both gender (e.g., Morrow and Enarson 1996; Peek and Fothergill 2008) and social capital (e.g., Aldrich and Meyer 2015; Kyne and Aldrich 2020) have been widely recognized as key factors in shaping disaster vulnerability or resilience, little is known about the interactions between gender and social capital in the context of disaster (Molyneux 2002; Ganapati 2012), suggesting a new line of inquiry for hazards and disaster researchers to better understand disaster outcomes and recovery process.

3) Helping others

Altogether, more than half of the study respondents (N = 17, or 68%) discussed helping others across 68 coded segments of text, representing 15.9% of the total coded segments for the immediate response and short-term recovery phases (Table 5). Moreover, significant relationships were found among the codes for mobilizing resources and networks and the codes for providing help to and receiving help from others. In other words, the ability of the study respondents to mobilize their resources and networks often led them to more frequently engage in and discuss acts of providing and receiving help when compared with those who did not mobilize or discuss mobilizing their resources and networks. Still, nearly all the study respondents (N = 24, or 96%) discussed receiving help from other individuals, groups, and organizations across 162 coded segments of text, representing 37.8% of the total coded segments for the immediate response and short-term recovery phases.

4) Recovery milestones

The abundance of helping behavior derived from existing resources and network connections not only softened the recovery process but also allowed many survivors to achieve significant recovery milestones (N = 18, or 72%; Table 6). For many of the study respondents, these milestones revolved around tangible outcomes, such as the completion of major repairs to home and personal property, the ability to move back into the family home, or the acquisition of a new, permanent residence. For other respondents, however, recovery milestones were far more subjective and symbolic, yet equally powerful, such as experiencing feelings of hope after finding lost items of personal value, building new relationships and discovering the love of community, regaining a sense of normalcy after seeing people moving on and returning to their old routines, or the tremendous pride felt from watching your own community “come together” and “rise from the ashes.”

Table 6

Frequency of coded segments—long-term recovery process.

Table 6

d. Recovery challenges

Following the tornado impact, residents were immediately engaged in the process of determining safety, accounting for others, assisting neighbors and friends, managing the psychological/emotional impact, assessing damage, and securing resources. Two major activities in the recovery process were arranging temporary housing and seeking contractors for repairs. Based on the severity of the damage and subsequent trauma experienced, including loss of normalcy, participants dealt with initial distress that was further compounded by taking on daunting recovery tasks. Residents faced challenges finding available housing and contractors; for housing, securing stability and covering costs, and for repairs, seeking qualified contractors and completion of repairs.

1) Temporary housing

Temporary housing and repairs are an interrelated process, because finding temporary housing and the length of stay is based on the speediness and quality of contractor repair work. This process took anywhere from a few weeks to a year. The location of residents’ homes in a small town meant there was a lack of available housing to rent, as one female participant asserted, “We had nowhere to go,” and when temporary housing was arranged, it was often short-lived, as one male participant exclaimed, “Every time we looked up, we’re moving.” Additionally, the length of temporary housing was based on the outcome of repairs, and some residents endured longer stays in temporary places, including several residents staying in a hotel 4–6 months and one staying in a hotel for a year. These shortages of rentals (apartments and houses) affected both student and community residents. Challenges consisted of temporary stays in multiple rentals, rental costs, finding rentals that accommodated families and pets, and finding a temporary residence in the vicinity of work and school. Temporary stays and turnover in housing indicate the instability of finding sound temporary housing. For example, one female participant stated, “I lived in four different locations for the first month, and that was very stressful for me, couch surfing.” Here, coping with the disaster itself and initiating the recovery process is complicated by the lack of stable housing. For this resident’s experience, there was a quick turnover of staying in one location, while actively seeking the next place to stay. This insecurity of temporary housing not only emerged in the immediate time frame following the disaster but attributed to ongoing stress for other residents as well. One male participant described, “We were out of our house nine months; slept in two, three hotels, a friend’s house, an apartment. Six, six different places.” Both the length of stay and the turnover reveal the stress of the recovery process.

The recurring scheduling and moving process for each temporary stay causes more disruption as residents are also managing the repair process of the damage to their homes. This also may lead to increased rental costs and hardships adjusting to limited accommodations and shared spaces. As one female participant explained, “For about three or four days, we were living in our friend’s apartment, sharing one bathroom; it was about seven people.” The setting reveals potential stress managing roommates and shared living space. These circumstances also reveal a limit on privacy when compared with previous residence prior to the tornado. For instance, a female participant stated, “I was living on the couch of a married couple. I would go to spend some nights at the shelter.” The choice to stay in the local shelter was to give privacy to the couple; yet the shift to the shelter meant another temporary move on select nights, as well as lack of privacy for the displaced resident, who was provided a cot in a larger collective room. As these descriptions suggest, residents were tasked with finding a place to live that accommodated their unique needs, and many of these accommodations were unmet or had a high turnover. Thus, the recovery process in finding stability and addressing the physical and emotional impact of the disaster was undermined by the inconsistency in temporary housing.

2) Permanent housing repairs

Like the task of finding a temporary place to live, residents also dealt with urgency in initiating the repair process, which includes assessment of damage and plan for repair, or in some cases, total loss and seeking a new permanent residence. Because of the degree of damage, finding contractors that could also be trusted was a challenging task. Participants had to rely on their own knowledge and resources to make progress during the recovery, including using their savings and dealing with insurance policies. Ongoing challenges included contractors not showing up, lack of trust, needing to monitor the contractor’s work, differences in quotes between insurance companies and contractors, and lack of experience and licensure. Each of these issues was a hardship that required time and costs. Several residents described the ongoing stress of management. For example, a male participant explained, “So we’re not making any progress at all. We asked subcontractors who just didn’t show up; it was a very tedious nine months,” and similarly another female participant stated, “I’ve also learned when you pay a contractor, you’re paying them, but if you’re not on top of them, you get what they want, not what you want.” In both excerpts, the contracted work did not occur independent of the homeowner; thus, residents were compelled to deal with delays of the repairs and low-quality work. One participant even indicated that she had found out that some contractors were saying they were licensed but were not and thus had to start the search process over again. As a result, residents had to be available to address the slow rate of repair work.

Another challenge experienced by some participants was acquiring the estimated costs of repair work. This may seem like a streamlined process in which the contractor provides the estimate, but there were barriers present. For example, a female participant said, “We couldn’t find a contractor, and we had to have two estimates.” The statement reveals the frustration and stoppage to the recovery process. A different female participant described another challenge with estimates, “The contractor would have one estimate that he said it was going to cost, and the insurance would have another, and then we would have to go through an argument for why it would cost that much more.” Here the issue had to be addressed and resolved to meet all parties’ expectations, again leading to a delay in the recovery process. As shown with the contractor challenge, the level of stress increased during this stage. In comparing this stress with housing, the recovery process required navigating ongoing challenges to reach permanent residence stability.

e. Resilience strategies

As shown in Table 7, support networks and preparedness turned out to be the most prominent elements among the named strategies toward disaster resilience.

Table 7

Code frequencies with respect to resilience strategies.

Table 7

1) Support networks

Of 25 respondents, 23 mentioned the outpouring of concern and help following the tornadoes and asserted that a good support system had helped them recover from the disaster. A handful of the respondents viewed the adversity as a window of opportunity to foster community pride and promote community cohesion among some respondents. To quote one female participant, “I hate to say it takes a tragedy like that but, like, to see the community come out and support.” The support received in general can be categorized into three major types, in order of their prominence, with the most prominent coming first:

  1. instrumental support that typically involves tangible help and service, such as removing debris, tarping roofs, delivering food, water, clothing, and other necessities, and setting up shelters;

  2. emotional support that includes expressions of empathy and care, encouraging words, praying, a listening ear, counseling, and so forth;

  3. informational support that refers to suggestions and information on sheltering and housing options.

The key actors in the support networks range from family, friends, and neighbors to coworkers and even strangers, from first responders serving the community in everyday life to the university’s faculty, staff, and students, from nongovernmental organizations (e.g., the American Red Cross) to faith-based organizations (e.g., the Salvation Army).

2) Preparedness

The overwhelming majority of the respondents (92%) believed that being prepared was an influential contributor to resilience. Citing the proverb that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, one respondent highlighted the value of taking proactive rather than reactive actions for reducing disaster impact and loss. Preparedness can be a multifaceted concept according to the respondents, and three major types of preparedness emerged from the interviews:

  1. survival preparedness refers to storing food, water, and other necessities, preparing a change of clothes, personal hygiene items, medications, first-aid items, flashlights, batteries, a phone charger, and a helmet (tornado-specific preparedness);

  2. planning preparedness refers to staying informed of weather developments, having a plan and a backup plan in place that specifically identifies evacuation routes as well as shelter locations and options, and purchasing insurance;

  3. structural preparedness refers to building an in-house safe room.

This is reflective of previous findings by Spittal et al. (2006, 2008) that identified predisaster preparedness and postdisaster preparedness as different types of preparedness (labeled as mitigation actions and survival actions by Spittal). Lindell and Perry (2000) noted similar differences in a literature review paper previously (e.g., flashlight and radio vs structural changes vs insurance).

Some of the respondents claimed that staying calm helped them ride out the storm. Hence, being prepared does not necessarily involve practical activities to take to prepare for the storms but can sometimes mean being mentally or emotionally ready. The “it won’t happen to me” or “it won’t happen again” mindset was another common theme that surfaced during the analysis. One female participant recalled, “And so it is still as unreal that, you know, even though you live through it, it’s still on rail; you still don’t think that it’s going to happen again, you know. You almost think it still didn’t happen to me, you know.” Another male participant added, “Because, it’s happened now, you know, lightning doesn’t strike twice, but it can.” Heeding warnings and taking the weather seriously are a big lesson most respondents learned.

5. Discussion

In our study, the dominant factor for preparedness is weather or risk perception, which is tied to informed participants. It seems most of the respondents who were aware of the weather or the impending tornado event tried to receive weather updates from different sources before and during the tornado to be prepared. This aligns with previous studies that show risk perception is positively correlated with preparedness intentions and adoption of protective actions (Terpstra and Lindell 2013; Duan et al. 2020). The respondents with low risk perception seemed to have a lack of preparedness. Communication was identified as the key factor in terms of protective actions in the study, and the respondents were communicating mostly with their immediate family members. The next dominant factor is a safe place, which is tied with both communication and monitoring. Respondents who were communicating with their family members and monitoring the weather updates on different platforms moved to a safe place immediately. Communication is also tied with weather perception in preparedness and mobilizing network in the response phase.

The ability to mobilize resources (e.g., money, credit cards, cellular telephones, and hygiene items), both prior to and during the immediate aftermath of the event, was identified as the first protective action taken by nearly one-half of the interview respondents. However, a significantly larger proportion of respondents (68%) identified the ability to mobilize networks to gather information and request assistance and support as equally if not more important than mobilizing resources. In fact, both actions generally occurred in concert, with one leading to the other and vice versa. Respondents often described their existing social networks as being critical to acquiring additional information about the storm’s impacts, the availability of nearby shelter and/or temporary housing facilities, and securing needed transportation, temporary housing, and financial assistance from friends and family. These findings corresponded with the natural tendencies of survivors to lean on strong ties (Granovetter 1973) and bonding social capital (Putnam 2000; Szreter and Woolcock 2004; Woolcock 2001) in the aftermath of disasters and other extreme events. Several respondents also relied on weak ties (Granovetter 1973) and bridging social capital to locate safe evacuation routes and sheltering facilities, while a smaller number of respondents further described patterns of emergent (and self-organizing) groups that relied on linking forms of social capital to provide needed supplies and service connections to a much broader network of disaster survivors (Szreter 2002; Szreter and Woolcock 2004; Woolcock 2001). Further capitalizing on these network dynamics, nearly all respondents described using a combination of network ties (along with different forms of social capital) to receive help (98%) and achieve significant recovery milestones (72%) during both the immediate and longer-term recovery periods.

Support networks and preparedness were the two most prominent elements associated with disaster resilience. While the size (e.g., the number of social contacts) and composition (e.g., the proportion of family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers vs first responders, community members, university members, NGOs, and faith-based organizations) of the networks might differ, 23 of 25 respondents (92%) viewed both tangible and intangible support (e.g., instrumental, emotional, or informational) derived from social networks as facilitators on their path to recovery. Preparedness was another most-often-cited factor for accelerating the recovery process; 23 of 25 respondents (92%) recognized the role preparedness could play in reducing disaster impact or helping navigate recovery challenges, regardless of the type of preparedness considered (e.g., survival, planning, structural, or mental) or level of personal preparedness prior to the storm. It should be noted that the responders were generally underprepared. One explanation for this is that many exhibited a low perceived risk due to an “it won’t happen to me” optimism bias or a sense of complacency. It is also possible that some have other, more pressing priorities or competing commitments on time and resources in everyday life that limit their engagement in disaster preparedness activities. Also notably, some respondents mentioned how the disaster opened windows of opportunity for enhancing community pride/cohesion and identifying preparedness gaps/needs.

Participants faced hardships related to extensive property damage and emotional trauma. Although the weather experts predicted a tornado, participants seemed to not fully anticipate the risk of a direct impact. Even residents indicated that after many years of living in the town, they had not encountered a tornado directly. As the tornado was striking, some participants were terrified, even calling family members to let them know that they may not survive. Many participants experienced considerable damage to their place of residence and belongings and subsequently had to find and negotiate temporary and permanent housing relocation and/or repairs to property. The process of finding temporary housing or new housing was an ongoing challenge that often came with multiple relocations. Additionally, hiring a contractor was an arduous task to undertake and the repair process was lengthy and incurred many obstacles. Managing both finding housing and contractors was undermined by ongoing emotional trauma. Residents struggled to cope, and many feared severe weather for months to come. Thus, there were long-term burdens with property damage and emotional trauma in the context of returning to normalcy and maintaining other routine responsibilities, such as work and family.

The results of this study paint a clear picture of how this disaster has had wide-sweeping impacts, not only physically but also emotionally on those community members who were involved. Through interview data, we can see the impact of tornadoes on those involved and better prepare for similar disasters in the future. The most salient area impacted following this event was property damage, which was reported by 96% of participants, followed by general problems and loss of items. General problems, such as difficulty with transportation, logistical issues relating to relocation and resources, and uncertainty surrounding the state of participants’ homes/belongings following the tornado were reported by 68% of participants. Additionally, 72% reported loss of belongings as an area of personal impact. In addition to property loss and logistical issues, more than half of participants (64%) reported trauma following the event, even though there were zero deaths and only four injuries, and numerous participants also reported other areas of impact including loss of sleep, electricity, items, and normalcy. Not surprisingly, participants also reported negative emotional impacts as well, with 88% of participants reporting increased fear, and others reporting feelings of despair, complacency, anger, and grief. In addition to negative emotions, 60% of participants also reported feeling lucky or fortunate following the event.

6. Conclusions

This qualitative study engaged the survivors of an EF3 tornado that hit Jacksonville on 19 March 2018 and employed an oral-history approach to examine its impact as well as what was meant by resilience from the perspective of the survivors. The results showed that the participants in general exhibited low levels of risk perceptions and personal preparedness toward tornadoes. Although no fatalities were recorded, the storm caused extensive property damage and major disruptions to daily routines and took an emotional toll on most participants for an extended period of time. Furthermore, challenges and obstacles in repairing/rebuilding homes, securing alternative housing arrangements, and other bureaucracies during the short- and long-term recovery processes compounded the emotional stress, making it harder for some participants to move on and regain a sense of normalcy. In some extreme cases, a few participants were still grappling with limited housing options and/or had issues finding contractors for repairing or rebuilding their damaged homes at the time of being interviewed. However, it should be noted that different segments of our sample population recovered at different rates due to varying levels of damage and housing arrangements. Relative to the homeowners, the students bounced back faster because the university provided housing accommodations and other assistance programs to help overcome their recovery roadblocks.

In addition to narrating their firsthand experience with the storm and recovery stories, the participants shared their interpretations of resilience. Many highlighted the importance of being capable of mobilizing both resources and networks to stay informed of weather conditions before the tornado struck and to tackle common difficulties to recover from the tornado. Most of the participants described the support system and range of resources accessible through the network of relations as the critical factors that facilitated recovery and contributed to resilience. The majority also emphasized the importance of being prepared for future tornadoes. Many referred to the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure to advocate a shift from being reactive to proactive when addressing future storms. Moreover, the post-tornado rebuilding and recovery efforts imbued the participants with a sense of community pride, suggesting an overall positive outlook despite the negative outcomes of the storm.

The study is exploratory in nature and has several limitations. First, the study interviewed only a small number of survivors, so the results might not apply to other survivors residing in the study site. Second, the participants were overwhelmingly white and female, meaning that the results might not hold for survivors of different ethnic and gender identities. Besides, the study did not consider other socioeconomic standings, such as housing type or tenure differences in compounding the tornado impact and recovery outcomes among the survivors. Additionally, because participants were interviewed 11–17 months following the tornado, memory decay was a possible factor in participants’ ability to accurately recall their emotional reactions and risk perceptions (Wu 2020). Further, we did not triangulate participants’ accounts with other evidence, ultimately limiting our ability to confirm accuracy. Despite these limitations, the stories of and insights into resilience provided through the lens of the survivors’ experience with their own words and voices are expected to add to the body of knowledge surrounding disaster vulnerability and resilience and benefit future generations of the community at risk from similar tornado threats. Moreover, the study employs an oral history approach distinguished from other forms of qualitative interviews by providing ample time and space to enable the respondents to give their stories the fullness they desire. The findings of the study can also be used to inform better practice that builds on enhanced community pride and heightened risk perception to promote public awareness of tornado risks and public engagement in communicating and planning for future storms. Furthermore, the study provides critical information about the stresses and challenges tornado survivors undergo during the recovery process that can be applied to other types of natural hazards to better support and enhance emergency management efforts in general.

Acknowledgments.

We are grateful to our colleagues at the JSU Houston Cole Library for providing rooms and equipment for the interviews and for archiving the recordings/transcripts as part of the Tornado Oral History Project. Also, we thank Dr. Jane Kushma for helping to conceptualize the research and conduct some interviews initially. We appreciate the feedback of anonymous reviewers, which helped to improve the paper. Our thanks are also given to the community members and survivors who participated in this research.

Data availability statement.

The interview recordings/transcripts are stored electronically and will be publicly available via JSU Houston Cole Library (https://digitalcommons.jsu.edu/lib_ac_oralhy/).

REFERENCES

  • Afifi, W. A., E. D. Felix, and T. D. Afifi, 2012: The impact of uncertainty and communal coping on mental health following natural disasters. Anxiety Stress Coping, 25, 329347, https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2011.603048.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aldrich, D. P., 2012: Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery. University of Chicago Press, 248 pp.

  • Aldrich, D. P., and M. A. Meyer, 2015: Social capital and community resilience. Amer. Behav. Sci., 59, 254269, https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764214550299.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ashley, W. S., 2007: Spatial and temporal analysis of tornado fatalities in the United States: 1880–2005. Wea. Forecasting, 22, 12141228, https://doi.org/10.1175/2007WAF2007004.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benight, C. C., and M. L. Harper, 2002: Coping self-efficacy perceptions as a mediator between acute stress response and long-term distress following natural disasters. J. Trauma. Stress, 15, 177186, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015295025950.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bourdieu, P., 2011: “The forms of capital” (1986). Cultural Theory: An Anthology, I. Szeman and T. Kaposy, Eds., Wiley-Blackwell, 81–93.

  • Broomell, S. B., G. Wong-Parodi, R. E. Morss, and J. L. Demuth, 2020: Do we know our own tornado season? A psychological investigation of perceived tornado likelihood in the Southeast United States. Wea. Climate Soc., 12, 771788, https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-20-0030.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bruneau, M., and Coauthors, 2003: A framework to quantitatively assess and enhance the seismic resilience of communities. Earthquake Spectra, 19, 733752, https://doi.org/10.1193/1.1623497.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CARRI, 2013: Definitions of community resilience: An analysis. CARRI Rep., 14 pp., https://repo.floodalliance.net/jspui/bitstream/44111/1347/1/definitions-of-community-resilience.pdf.

  • Coleman, J. S., 1988: Social capital in the creation of human capital. Amer. J. Sociol., 94, S95S120, https://doi.org/10.1086/228943.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cutter, S. L., L. Barnes, M. Berry, C. Burton, E. Evans, E. Tate, and J. Webb, 2008: A place-based model for understanding community resilience to natural disasters. Global Environ. Change, 18, 598606, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.07.013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duan, T., H. Jiang, X. Deng, Q. Zhang, and F. Wang, 2020: Government intervention, risk perception, and the adoption of protective action recommendations: Evidence from the COVID-19 prevention and control experience of China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17, 3387, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103387.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fox, D., 2019: One year later: JSU remembers tornado on event’s anniversary. Gadsden Times, 19 March, https://www.gadsdentimes.com/story/news/local/2019/03/20/jsu-remembers-tornado-on-1-year-anniversary/5671095007/.

  • Ganapati, N. E., 2012: In good company: Why social capital matters for women during disaster recovery. Public Adm. Rev., 72, 419427, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02526.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Granovetter, M. S., 1973: The strength of weak ties. Amer. J. Sociol., 78, 13601380, https://doi.org/10.1086/225469.

  • Guo, M., Y. Gan, and J. Tong, 2013: The role of meaning-focused coping in significant loss. Anxiety Stress Coping, 26, 87102, https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2011.627507.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hamideh, S., and P. Sen, 2022: Experiences of vulnerable households in low-attention disasters: Marshalltown, Iowa (United States) after the EF3 Tornado. Global Environ. Change, 77, 102595, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102595.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hammock, A. C., R. E. Dreyer, M. Riaz, S. A. P. Clouston, A. McGlone, and B. Luft, 2019: Trauma and relationship strain: Oral histories with World Trade Center disaster responders. Qual. Health Res., 29, 17511765, https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732319837534.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hawkins, R. L., and K. Maurer, 2010: Bonding, bridging, and linking: How social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Br. J. Soc. Work, 40, 17771793, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp087.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heid, A. R., R. Pruchno, F. P. Cartwright, and M. Wilson-Genderson, 2017: Exposure to Hurricane Sandy, neighborhood collective efficacy, and post-traumatic stress symptoms in older adults. Aging Ment. Health, 21, 742750, https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2016.1154016.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holling, C. S., 1973: Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 4, 123, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.es.04.110173.000245.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jennings, B. J., E. D. Vugrin, and D. K. Belasich, 2013: Resilience certification for commercial buildings: A study of stakeholder perspectives. Environ. Syst. Decis., 33, 184194, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-013-9440-y.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Klein, R. J. T., R. J. Nicholls, and F. Thomalla, 2003: Resilience to natural hazards: How useful is this concept? Global Environ. Change, 5B, 3545, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hazards.2004.02.001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kyne, D., and D. P. Aldrich, 2020: Capturing bonding, bridging, and linking social capital through publicly available data. Risks Hazards Crisis Public Policy, 11, 6186, https://doi.org/10.1002/rhc3.12183.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lai, A., 2022: What is Otter? Otter.ai, accessed 23 October 2022, https://help.otter.ai/hc/en-us/articles/360035266494-What-is-Otter-.

  • Lin, N., 1999: Social networks and status attainment. Annu. Rev. Sociol., 25, 467487, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.25.1.467.

  • Lindell, M. K., and R. W. Perry, 2000: Household adjustment to earthquake hazard: A review of research. Environ. Behav., 32, 461501, https://doi.org/10.1177/00139160021972621.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindell, M. K., and R. W. Perry, 2012: The protective action decision model: Theoretical modifications and additional evidence. Risk Anal., 32, 616632, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01647.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindell, M. K., C. S. Prater, and R. W. Perry, 2006: Fundamentals of Emergency Management. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 446 pp.

  • MAXQDA, 2022: Qualitative data analysis software: What is it and how does it support you? MAXQDA, accessed 23 October 2022, https://www.maxqda.com/products/qualitative-data-analysis-software.

  • Molyneux, M., 2002: Gender and the silences of social capital: Lessons from Latin America. Dev. Change, 33, 167188, https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00246.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morrow, B. H., and E. Enarson, 1996: Hurricane Andrew through women’s eyes: Issues and recommendations. Int. J. Mass Emerg. Disasters, 14, 522, https://doi.org/10.1177/028072709601400101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NWS, 2018a: Jacksonville Tornado—March 19, 2018. National Weather Service, accessed 12 March 2022, https://www.weather.gov/bmx/event_03192018_jacksonville.

  • NWS, 2018b: March 18th severe event. National Weather Service, https://www.weather.gov/mob/2022_March18_SevereEvent.

  • Paek, H.-J., and T. Hove, 2017: Risk perceptions and risk characteristics. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press, https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.283.

  • Peek, L., and A. Fothergill, 2008: Displacement, gender, and the challenges of parenting after Hurricane Katrina. NWSA J., 20, 69105.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perry, R. W., and M. K. Lindell, 2007: Emergency Planning. John Wiley and Sons, 519 pp.

  • Peters, R. G., V. T. Covello, and D. B. McCallum, 1997: The determinants of trust and credibility in environmental risk communication: An empirical study. Risk Anal., 17, 4354, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1997.tb00842.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Portes, A., 1998: Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annu. Rev. Sociol., 24, 124, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.24.1.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prost, S. G., C. M. Lemieux, and A. L. Ai, 2016: Social work students in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Correlates of post-disaster substance use as a negative coping mechanism. Soc. Work Educ., 35, 825844, https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2016.1187720.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Putnam, R. D., 1995: Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America. PS Polit. Sci. Polit., 28, 664683, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096500058856.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Putnam, R. D., 2000: Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Simon and Schuster, 541 pp.

  • Renn, O., and D. Levine, 1991: Credibility and trust in risk communication. Communicating Risks to the Public, R. E. Kasperson and P. J. M. Stallen, Eds., Technology, Risk, and Society, Vol. 4, Springer, 175–217, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1952-5_10.

  • Sadri, A. M., S. V. Ukkusuri, S. Lee, R. Clawson, D. Aldrich, M. S. Nelson, J. Seipel, and D. Kelly, 2018: The role of social capital, personal networks, and emergency responders in post-disaster recovery and resilience: A study of rural communities in Indiana. Nat. Hazards, 90, 13771406, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-017-3103-0.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silver, A., and J. Grek-Martin, 2015: “Now we understand what community really means”: Reconceptualizing the role of sense of place in the disaster recovery process. J. Environ. Psychol., 42, 3241, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.01.004.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sloan, S., 2008: Oral history and Hurricane Katrina: Reflections on shouts and silences. Oral Hist. Rev., 35, 176186, https://doi.org/10.1093/ohr/ohn027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slovic, P., 2010: The Feeling of Risk: New Perspectives on Risk Perception. Earthscan, 425 pp.

  • Spittal, M. J., F. H. Walkey, J. McClure, R. J. Siegert, and K. E. Ballantyne, 2006: The earthquake readiness scale: The development of a valid and reliable unifactorial measure. Nat. Hazards, 39, 1529, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-005-2369-9.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spittal, M. J., J. McClure, R. J. Siegert, and F. H. Walkey, 2008: Predictors of two types of earthquake preparation. Environ. Behav., 40, 798817, https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916507309864.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stofferahn, C. W., 2012: Community capitals and disaster recovery: Northwood ND recovers from an EF 4 tornado. Community Dev., 43, 581598, https://doi.org/10.1080/15575330.2012.732591.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szreter, S., 2002: The state of social capital: Bringing back in power, politics, and history. Theory Soc., 31, 573621, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021300217590.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szreter, S., and M. Woolcock, 2004: Health by association? Social capital, social theory, and the political economy of public health. Int. J. Epidemiol., 33, 650667, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyh013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Terpstra, T., and M. K. Lindell, 2013: Citizens’ perceptions of flood hazard adjustments: An application of the protective action decision model. Environ. Behav., 45, 9931018, https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916512452427.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tierney, K., and M. Bruneau, 2007: Conceptualizing and measuring resilience: A key to disaster loss reduction. TR News, May–June, 14–17, https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/trnews250_p14-17.pdf.

  • Tierney, K. , M. K. Lindell, and R. W. Perry, 2001: Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States. Joseph Henry Press, 306 pp.

  • Woolcock, M., 2001: The place of social capital in understanding social and economic outcomes. Can. J. Policy Res., 2, 1117.

  • Wu, H.-C., 2020: Households disaster memory recollection after the 2013 Colorado flood. Nat. Hazards, 102, 11751185, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-03951-8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Save
  • Afifi, W. A., E. D. Felix, and T. D. Afifi, 2012: The impact of uncertainty and communal coping on mental health following natural disasters. Anxiety Stress Coping, 25, 329347, https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2011.603048.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aldrich, D. P., 2012: Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery. University of Chicago Press, 248 pp.

  • Aldrich, D. P., and M. A. Meyer, 2015: Social capital and community resilience. Amer. Behav. Sci., 59, 254269, https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764214550299.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ashley, W. S., 2007: Spatial and temporal analysis of tornado fatalities in the United States: 1880–2005. Wea. Forecasting, 22, 12141228, https://doi.org/10.1175/2007WAF2007004.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benight, C. C., and M. L. Harper, 2002: Coping self-efficacy perceptions as a mediator between acute stress response and long-term distress following natural disasters. J. Trauma. Stress, 15, 177186, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015295025950.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bourdieu, P., 2011: “The forms of capital” (1986). Cultural Theory: An Anthology, I. Szeman and T. Kaposy, Eds., Wiley-Blackwell, 81–93.

  • Broomell, S. B., G. Wong-Parodi, R. E. Morss, and J. L. Demuth, 2020: Do we know our own tornado season? A psychological investigation of perceived tornado likelihood in the Southeast United States. Wea. Climate Soc., 12, 771788, https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-20-0030.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bruneau, M., and Coauthors, 2003: A framework to quantitatively assess and enhance the seismic resilience of communities. Earthquake Spectra, 19, 733752, https://doi.org/10.1193/1.1623497.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CARRI, 2013: Definitions of community resilience: An analysis. CARRI Rep., 14 pp., https://repo.floodalliance.net/jspui/bitstream/44111/1347/1/definitions-of-community-resilience.pdf.

  • Coleman, J. S., 1988: Social capital in the creation of human capital. Amer. J. Sociol., 94, S95S120, https://doi.org/10.1086/228943.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cutter, S. L., L. Barnes, M. Berry, C. Burton, E. Evans, E. Tate, and J. Webb, 2008: A place-based model for understanding community resilience to natural disasters. Global Environ. Change, 18, 598606, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.07.013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Duan, T., H. Jiang, X. Deng, Q. Zhang, and F. Wang, 2020: Government intervention, risk perception, and the adoption of protective action recommendations: Evidence from the COVID-19 prevention and control experience of China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17, 3387, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103387.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fox, D., 2019: One year later: JSU remembers tornado on event’s anniversary. Gadsden Times, 19 March, https://www.gadsdentimes.com/story/news/local/2019/03/20/jsu-remembers-tornado-on-1-year-anniversary/5671095007/.

  • Ganapati, N. E., 2012: In good company: Why social capital matters for women during disaster recovery. Public Adm. Rev., 72, 419427, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02526.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Granovetter, M. S., 1973: The strength of weak ties. Amer. J. Sociol., 78, 13601380, https://doi.org/10.1086/225469.

  • Guo, M., Y. Gan, and J. Tong, 2013: The role of meaning-focused coping in significant loss. Anxiety Stress Coping, 26, 87102, https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2011.627507.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hamideh, S., and P. Sen, 2022: Experiences of vulnerable households in low-attention disasters: Marshalltown, Iowa (United States) after the EF3 Tornado. Global Environ. Change, 77, 102595, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102595.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hammock, A. C., R. E. Dreyer, M. Riaz, S. A. P. Clouston, A. McGlone, and B. Luft, 2019: Trauma and relationship strain: Oral histories with World Trade Center disaster responders. Qual. Health Res., 29, 17511765, https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732319837534.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hawkins, R. L., and K. Maurer, 2010: Bonding, bridging, and linking: How social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Br. J. Soc. Work, 40, 17771793, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp087.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heid, A. R., R. Pruchno, F. P. Cartwright, and M. Wilson-Genderson, 2017: Exposure to Hurricane Sandy, neighborhood collective efficacy, and post-traumatic stress symptoms in older adults. Aging Ment. Health, 21, 742750, https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2016.1154016.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holling, C. S., 1973: Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 4, 123, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.es.04.110173.000245.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jennings, B. J., E. D. Vugrin, and D. K. Belasich, 2013: Resilience certification for commercial buildings: A study of stakeholder perspectives. Environ. Syst. Decis., 33, 184194, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-013-9440-y.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Klein, R. J. T., R. J. Nicholls, and F. Thomalla, 2003: Resilience to natural hazards: How useful is this concept? Global Environ. Change, 5B, 3545, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hazards.2004.02.001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kyne, D., and D. P. Aldrich, 2020: Capturing bonding, bridging, and linking social capital through publicly available data. Risks Hazards Crisis Public Policy, 11, 6186, https://doi.org/10.1002/rhc3.12183.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lai, A., 2022: What is Otter? Otter.ai, accessed 23 October 2022, https://help.otter.ai/hc/en-us/articles/360035266494-What-is-Otter-.

  • Lin, N., 1999: Social networks and status attainment. Annu. Rev. Sociol., 25, 467487, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.25.1.467.

  • Lindell, M. K., and R. W. Perry, 2000: Household adjustment to earthquake hazard: A review of research. Environ. Behav., 32, 461501, https://doi.org/10.1177/00139160021972621.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindell, M. K., and R. W. Perry, 2012: The protective action decision model: Theoretical modifications and additional evidence. Risk Anal., 32, 616632, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01647.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindell, M. K., C. S. Prater, and R. W. Perry, 2006: Fundamentals of Emergency Management. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 446 pp.

  • MAXQDA, 2022: Qualitative data analysis software: What is it and how does it support you? MAXQDA, accessed 23 October 2022, https://www.maxqda.com/products/qualitative-data-analysis-software.

  • Molyneux, M., 2002: Gender and the silences of social capital: Lessons from Latin America. Dev. Change, 33, 167188, https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00246.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morrow, B. H., and E. Enarson, 1996: Hurricane Andrew through women’s eyes: Issues and recommendations. Int. J. Mass Emerg. Disasters, 14, 522, https://doi.org/10.1177/028072709601400101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NWS, 2018a: Jacksonville Tornado—March 19, 2018. National Weather Service, accessed 12 March 2022, https://www.weather.gov/bmx/event_03192018_jacksonville.

  • NWS, 2018b: March 18th severe event. National Weather Service, https://www.weather.gov/mob/2022_March18_SevereEvent.

  • Paek, H.-J., and T. Hove, 2017: Risk perceptions and risk characteristics. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press, https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.283.

  • Peek, L., and A. Fothergill, 2008: Displacement, gender, and the challenges of parenting after Hurricane Katrina. NWSA J., 20, 69105.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perry, R. W., and M. K. Lindell, 2007: Emergency Planning. John Wiley and Sons, 519 pp.

  • Peters, R. G., V. T. Covello, and D. B. McCallum, 1997: The determinants of trust and credibility in environmental risk communication: An empirical study. Risk Anal., 17, 4354, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1997.tb00842.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Portes, A., 1998: Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annu. Rev. Sociol., 24, 124, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.24.1.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prost, S. G., C. M. Lemieux, and A. L. Ai, 2016: Social work students in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Correlates of post-disaster substance use as a negative coping mechanism. Soc. Work Educ., 35, 825844, https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2016.1187720.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Putnam, R. D., 1995: Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America. PS Polit. Sci. Polit., 28, 664683, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096500058856.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Putnam, R. D., 2000: Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Simon and Schuster, 541 pp.

  • Renn, O., and D. Levine, 1991: Credibility and trust in risk communication. Communicating Risks to the Public, R. E. Kasperson and P. J. M. Stallen, Eds., Technology, Risk, and Society, Vol. 4, Springer, 175–217, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1952-5_10.

  • Sadri, A. M., S. V. Ukkusuri, S. Lee, R. Clawson, D. Aldrich, M. S. Nelson, J. Seipel, and D. Kelly, 2018: The role of social capital, personal networks, and emergency responders in post-disaster recovery and resilience: A study of rural communities in Indiana. Nat. Hazards, 90, 13771406, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-017-3103-0.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silver, A., and J. Grek-Martin, 2015: “Now we understand what community really means”: Reconceptualizing the role of sense of place in the disaster recovery process. J. Environ. Psychol., 42, 3241, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.01.004.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sloan, S., 2008: Oral history and Hurricane Katrina: Reflections on shouts and silences. Oral Hist. Rev., 35, 176186, https://doi.org/10.1093/ohr/ohn027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Slovic, P., 2010: The Feeling of Risk: New Perspectives on Risk Perception. Earthscan, 425 pp.

  • Spittal, M. J., F. H. Walkey, J. McClure, R. J. Siegert, and K. E. Ballantyne, 2006: The earthquake readiness scale: The development of a valid and reliable unifactorial measure. Nat. Hazards, 39, 1529, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-005-2369-9.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spittal, M. J., J. McClure, R. J. Siegert, and F. H. Walkey, 2008: Predictors of two types of earthquake preparation. Environ. Behav., 40, 798817, https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916507309864.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stofferahn, C. W., 2012: Community capitals and disaster recovery: Northwood ND recovers from an EF 4 tornado. Community Dev., 43, 581598, https://doi.org/10.1080/15575330.2012.732591.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szreter, S., 2002: The state of social capital: Bringing back in power, politics, and history. Theory Soc., 31, 573621, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021300217590.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szreter, S., and M. Woolcock, 2004: Health by association? Social capital, social theory, and the political economy of public health. Int. J. Epidemiol., 33, 650667, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyh013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Terpstra, T., and M. K. Lindell, 2013: Citizens’ perceptions of flood hazard adjustments: An application of the protective action decision model. Environ. Behav., 45, 9931018, https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916512452427.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tierney, K., and M. Bruneau, 2007: Conceptualizing and measuring resilience: A key to disaster loss reduction. TR News, May–June, 14–17, https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/trnews250_p14-17.pdf.

  • Tierney, K. , M. K. Lindell, and R. W. Perry, 2001: Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States. Joseph Henry Press, 306 pp.

  • Woolcock, M., 2001: The place of social capital in understanding social and economic outcomes. Can. J. Policy Res., 2, 1117.

  • Wu, H.-C., 2020: Households disaster memory recollection after the 2013 Colorado flood. Nat. Hazards, 102, 11751185, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-03951-8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 975 300 0
Full Text Views 556 446 171
PDF Downloads 421 300 98