AbstractNatural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods cause massive damage and losses around the world. Investigating their impact on affected communities and delineating them from nondisaster forces have major scientific and policy implications. To that end, a series of econometric tests were applied to the Hurricane Resiliency Index (HRI) for six selected study areas to identify and date-stamp periods of mildly explosive behavior (MEB). Evidence of MEB signals a structural break or nonlinearity in an otherwise stationary time series. The starting and ending points of multiple MEB episodes indicate the extent to which a community recovers toward normalcy. It is found that the recovery time associated with hurricanes is much shorter than that with economic recessions. The overall severity of MBE, when considering both duration and amplitude, is most pronounced when a major hurricane strikes dense populations. The findings also highlight that the compounding effect of economic recession and hurricane poses the most serious threat to a local economy. Finally, the Hurricane Resiliency Index is shown to outperform the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s Metro Business-Cycle Index in capturing such behaviors.

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