Disaster and recovery: Processes compressed in time

Robert B. Olshansky, Lewis D. Hopkins, Laurie A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The post-disaster environment consists of a compression of urban development activities in time and in a limited space, a phenomenon referred to as time compression. Some phenomena compress in time more easily than others. This differential compression leads to a distortion in the interrelationships of urban development and decision processes when compared to relationships among those processes in normal times. Different types of organizations perform differentially under time compression. Everyone in the focused space of the disaster simultaneously seeks access to scarce resources, and those with better access to power are able to capture these finite resources before others can. Time-compression phenomena have implications for institutional design to facilitate post-disaster recovery. An important function of government agencies is to route resources from national to state/provincial to local agencies, and then to the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalNatural Hazards Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • Disaster recovery
  • Planning
  • Reconstruction
  • Urban development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Disaster and recovery: Processes compressed in time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this