Journal of Social Change

Conference Name

not applicable


Social science research on disaster-prone communities often cites social capital and community resilience to examine methods for improving emergency management and disaster risk reduction. The City of Conway, South Carolina, is susceptible to numerous natural disasters throughout the year and it has sustained damage from four major flooding disasters since 2015. This qualitative, ethnographic case study used interview data collected from nine Conway residents to examine and analyze perceived threats to citizens of Conway following a large-scale natural disaster and the possible responses by citizens in need of government assistance. Findings reveal that participants have endured more than one large-scale disaster that has impacted their perceived level of community resilience. The results also indicate that while most citizens stated they liked their community, they did not think they could endure another large-scale disaster. The article discusses the viability of using FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant to develop local resilience planning groups (LRPGs). Implications for social change include cultivating efforts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to improve the level of community engagement, enhance the dissemination of information, improve disaster risk reduction; and build and maintain resilient communities. This research can also inform strategies to achieve several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).