This study aims to fill a knowledge gap on the extent to which community-level mitigation activities impact business disaster recovery efforts in the US. Using data gathered from 25 semi-structured interviews with businesses and local government staff, this study examines business disaster recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma in relation to whether the business is located in a county that participates in the Federal Emergency Management Agency Community Rating System (CRS) program. The CRS is a federal, voluntary program created in 1990 to incentivize communities to implement floodplain management activities that exceed National Flood Insurance Program minimum requirements.
Preliminary findings suggest that businesses located in communities with higher CRS ratings recovered faster and sustained less impact than businesses located in communities with lower CRS ratings. Findings also indicate that dependence (both on other businesses and customers), stress and emotional reactions, financial considerations, personnel issues, working with contractors and insurance companies, and supply chain issues affected the ability of businesses to recover quickly.