Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico Special Issue

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Analysis of Pre and Post Disaster Management and Recovery
in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria

   The Journal of Emergency Management (JEM) Editorial Review Board invites the submission of original research, papers and case studies supporting a special issue titled Analysis of Pre and Post Disaster Management and Recovery in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. The special issue will be led by guest editor, Dr. Fernando I. Rivera, PhD who specializes in research in sociology, public health and disasters in Puerto Rico. Dr. Rivera is joined by special issue consultant Damarys Acevedo-Markey, PE, an environmental engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who has been instrumental in USACE's post disaster recovery analysis.

    As we pass the second anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic destruction of Puerto Rico, our goal is to bring together the complete and comprehensive accounting of the event and its post mortem. This may include a pre disaster assessment of the island’s state of preparation as well as any post disaster response, research, mitigation and recovery. We expect this to be a comprehensive look at what went wrong and just as important, what went right.

    After a billion US dollars and millions of hours of human effort, this special issue will present the latest on this disaster and how the lessons learned can help mitigate what seems to be a trend towards rising frequency and intensity of major weather events across the US and the globe. This special issue will be a must-read for all in emergency management and provide a reference work that can be utilized by those in the field. This special issue will be available as a print issue and a “living issue” will be updated continuously online as new manuscripts are received. All manuscripts will be processed in the standard JEM double-blinded peer-review process.

    The Journal of Emergency Management invites academics and professionals in private and public organizations to submit papers for this special issue and suggests the following partial list of topics for submission:
• Current 2020 post disaster assessment of Puerto Rico, its populations, businesses and its “new normal”
•Initial preparations, 2 to 10 years out, 2 years to event including activities at federal, state and local levels
• Initial response at the federal, state and local levels and their effectiveness on all measures of response
•Political issues and structure contributing to the effectiveness of the response and long-term recovery
• Debris management
• Coastal vulnerability pre and post hurricane and coastal and environmental resources restoration
• Pre and post hurricane human behavior and interaction
• Infrastructure resiliency (energy, water, waste water, structural) at all levels including critical facilities like hospitals, etc
• Evolution of Blue Roof, improvements over the years with improved technology
• Flood maps / levee / dam safety
• NGO and volunteer management
• Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) / Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) support and data integration into GIS systems
• Overarching US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and USACE Reachback Operations Center (UROC) support providing the evolution from contingency operations to full scale support at the USACE level and Nationwide
• Technologies to improve disaster response based on lessons learned from PR including technologies to provide power, treat water, and manage waste
• Management of shelters, special populations, transportation and communication logistics, and education

Submission details: To submit a manuscript, please visit and use the Manuscript Submission link on the journal’s website.  When you submit your paper, please make sure you select the “Special Issue on Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria” in the Section/Category of the General Info tab to designate it for this special issue.

Questions? Email us at For personal assistance contact us at 781-899-2702, ext. 114 from 9 am – 4 pm EST.

Important dates:
• Manuscripts accepted: Thru January 31, 2021
• Publication May 2021 - for initial online and print version
• Distribution - Extended nationwide distribution, standard international distribution - Print and Ejournal formats
• **We are planning a one day conference to roll out the results of this special issue. Please return for details.

• Print copies available for purchase. Limited advertising will be accepted for this special issue - reserve early.

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Special Issue Editors:


Dr. Fernando I. Rivera is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Puerto Rico Research Hub (PRRH) at the University of Central Florida. His research interests and activities are in the sociology of health/medical sociology, disasters, and race and ethnicity. His disaster research has explored the investigation of factors associated with disaster resilience and restoration and resilience in coupled human-natural systems. He has co-edited Disaster Resilience: Interdisciplinary Perspective (2012), co-authored Disaster Vulnerability, Hazards, and Resilience: Perspectives from Florida (2015), and edited Emerging Voices in Natural Hazards Research (2019).  Dr. Rivera is the guest special issue editor for the Journal of Emergency Management's special issue titled: Analysis of Pre and Post Disaster Management and Recovery in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.

Dr Rivera will be joined by special issue consultant Damarys Acevedo-Mackey, PE, an Environmental Engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers who has been instrumental in bringing forth much of the post disaster recovery analysis.

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