AbstractThe incidence of hurricanes has increased in the United States during recent years, affecting many aspects of the lives of those who have fallen victim to them. Delays that may be due to unexpected barriers to the recovery process are a major issue for the community, governors, and other federal authorities and directly impact the length of the recovery. Their barriers’ impacts on each other can intensify their negative effects and lead to further delays. A significant step toward resolving this problem is determining exactly how posthurricane recovery barriers interact with each other and how that affects the recovery process. Therefore, the aims of this study were to (1) investigate the causal relationships among the barrier categories to timely posthurricane recovery, and (2) identify the extent to which the barrier categories and their interactions impact the timeliness of the recovery. A survey was developed to determine the impacts of the 62 barriers that were identified as detrimental to timely posthurricane recovery. A total of 44 experts and 195 other individuals (referred to herein as the public) completed the survey. The structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used to develop two interrelated networks of the posthurricane recovery barriers, based on experts’ and the public’s perspectives and inputs, to analyze their impacts on the duration of the recovery process after hurricanes. The findings revealed some significant discrepancies between the perspectives of the two groups regarding the impacts of various barriers on the length of the recovery process. The experts considered coordination-related barriers as the foremost influences on the length of recovery, while the public group considered social-related barriers as the most influential. Both groups considered environment-related barriers to be unimportant and to have the least effect on the duration of the recovery. The results of this study will help decision-makers identify the paths that lead to significant delays in the posthurricane recovery process. They will also help postdisaster recovery planners understand the differences between the perspectives of the public and the experts so they can develop recommendations and strategies that are effective in preventing delays.

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