Identification and Categorization of Policy and Legal Barriers to Long-Term Timely Postdisaster Reconstruction

Behzad Rouhanizadeh, Sharareh Kermanshachi, Vaibhav Sanjay Dhamangaonkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Some communities are able to return to a normal state quickly after a disaster; however, the causes of delays in the postdisaster recovery phase remain an important concern. Policy and legal barriers are fundamental causes of delays in timely postdisaster recovery. The objective of this paper is to identify and categorize the policies and legal causes affecting postdisaster recovery processes in the United States. A comprehensive review of over 200 scholarly papers in this area was performed; policies and legal barriers to timely postdisaster recovery were identified; the identified postdisaster recovery barriers (PDRBs) were categorized, weighted, and ranked; and recommendations for ways to avoid delays in the recovery process were presented. A total of 58 PDRBs were found from prior studies, and each was assigned to one of the seven principal categories. The identified PDRBs were weighted and ranked by subject matter experts (SMEs) in postdisaster recovery. This research contributes to understanding how the PDRBs delay the postdisaster recovery and proposes suggestions for minimizing the delays and developing a framework for postdisaster recovery. The results of this study will help both policymakers and stakeholders evaluate the policy and legal PDRBs and achieve sustainable disaster recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04519014
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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