Totally Familiar Yet Completely New: Opportunities for and Challenges to Integrating Disaster Risk Management in Community Development

Susanna Pho

In the United States, many community-based organizations (CBOs) are key actors in efforts to both prepare for and respond to environmental disasters. Because they are commonly deeply embedded in communities and neighborhoods, local residents often recognize them as reliable sources of information and resources. While CBOs have been engaged in preparing and responding to disasters for decades, there has been little research on this work. This paper contributes literature to this gap by examining disaster-related work carried out by four community-based organizations: Self-Help Enterprises in Visalia, California; Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, California; the Tejano Center for Community Concerns in Houston, Texas; and Avenue Community Development Corporation, also in Houston.