Come hell or high water : a comparative analysis of the 2013 High River flood response
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Southern Alberta and the Town of High River were impacted by the most devastating floods in Alberta history in 2013 (MNP, 2015, p. 1). This research was designed to analyze how well prepared the Government of Alberta and the Town of High River were for the 2013 flooding, whether the disaster debris cleanup followed industry best-practices, and what improvements could be made for future disaster responses in the province. This research utilized a comparative analysis approach, utilizing qualitative data gathered from semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders involved in the 2013 flood debris cleanup. The results of this study indicate the Town of High River and the Government of Alberta were unprepared for the flooding in 2013, however, they quickly mobilized a response that allowed the community to recover remarkably. There were many ways the disaster response and recovery did not follow industry best-practices and major gaps exist in Alberta’s disaster management planning and disaster debris handling practices. This study can help the Government of Alberta and municipalities address these gaps before future natural disasters occur. Keywords: natural disasters, flooding, debris management
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