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The purpose of this study was to explore how social capital or the impact of life and previous disaster experience facilitated resilience in older adults who experienced the 2011 and 2013 floods in Brisbane, Australia.
Data were drawn from in-depth interviews of 10 older adults from Brisbane who were evacuated in both the 2011 and 2013 floods. A combined qualitative approach drawing from the methods of constructivist grounded theory and narrative inquiry was applied and the data were analyzed by using (inductive) line-by-line and axial coding.
The narratives of the older adults revealed a strong theme of resilience linked to social capital (bonding, bridging, and linking) and previous disaster experience. The results reflected the changing face of disaster management strategies and sources of social capital.
Changes in disaster management polices (toward self-reliance) and more formalized sources of social capital highlight the need to build strong and healthy resilient communities that are capable of positively recovering from natural disasters. The results from this research emphasize the importance of initiatives that enhance social cohesion, trust, and social capital within local communities. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:72–79)
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