Understanding recovery and resilience from natural disasters in hospitality organizations
Keywords:resilience, weather events, hospitality industry, Hurricane María
Extreme weather events, such as Hurricane María, shed light on the importance of understanding the factors that promote resilience, defined as bouncing back after adverse events. The current study took a qualitative focus group approach toward understanding resilience in employees of the hospitality industry after Hurricane María. The hospitality industry plays an important role in disaster responses due to its role in supporting local and national economies, job stability for vulnerable employees, and in supporting response efforts, eg, housing aid workers. Through a series of indepth focus groups, employees from San Juan, Puerto Rico and surrounding areas shared their Hurricane María experiences in terms of themselves as individuals, their workplaces, and their community. Major themes focused on the importance of the preparedness phase of the disaster response timeline, measuring impact and response on multiple levels in interdependent systems, creating and promoting awareness of resources, and acknowledging both struggle and strength when conceptualizing transformative potential. These findings can inform actionable strategies for individuals, organizations, and communities.
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