Lessons from Crisis Recovery in Schools: How Hurricanes Impacted Schools, Families and the Community

Document Type


Publication Date



This article examines school and school district-level efforts to reopen schools after significant damage from hurricanes. Through an empirical, qualitative research design, four themes emerged as critical to the hurricane recovery process: the importance of communication, resolving tension, coordinating with other services and learning from the past. School administrators must proactively plan for catastrophic events and balance the need for open communication within and outside the school district; to resolve tensions; and to coordinate with other public and private efforts to restore the community. Finally, they should use each experience as a learning opportunity.


At the time of publication Jill E. Douglass was affiliated with Picard Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Lafayette, LA.