Analysis of pre- and post-disaster management and recovery in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria


  • Fernando I. Rivera, PhD



Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria, hurricanes, recovery


Hurricane Maria, similar to other recent emergency events, continues to remind emergency management of the continuous threats communities encounter. Years prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was experiencing dire economic conditions which accelerated when the government declared bankruptcy in 2014. Austerity measures were put in place to confront the growing public debt resulting in higher taxes, a crumbling infrastructure, and economic restrictions impacting pensions and other social services. On top of these economic struggles, Puerto Rico experienced catastrophic damages from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The aftermath of these storms and the subsequent experiences with seismic events and the COVID-19 pandemic are reminders of the complexities emergency management is currently facing. As the frequency and intensity of major weather events continues to rise there is a need for a holistic understanding for emergency managers to better mitigate, prepare, response, and recover to disasters and emergency situations.

This special issue provides such understanding. Grounded on the nexus between energy, water, and food, this collection of manuscripts explores the emergency management challenges faced in Puerto Rico in relation to several areas of inquiry, including housing, agriculture, the hospitality industry, communication, health and mental health, public health, and access to healthcare services. These studies not only identify some of the challenges faced in these contexts but provide recommendations and tools to use in future emergencies.

Author Biography

Fernando I. Rivera, PhD

Professor of Sociology and Director of the Puerto Rico Research Hub at the University of Central Florida. He has established an ongoing research program in the fields of medical sociology/ sociology of health, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of disasters. He has studied the differential patterns of health among Puerto Ricans in the United States and investigated factors associated with disaster resilience, restoration and resilience in coupled human-natural systems, and climate migration




How to Cite

Rivera, PhD, F. I. “Analysis of Pre- and Post-Disaster Management and Recovery in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 19, no. 8, Sept. 2021, p. 9, doi:10.5055/jem.0601.