Patterns of firm responses to different types of natural disasters

Brent McKnight*, Martina K Linnenluecke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the relationships between disaster type and firms’ disaster responses. We draw on a unique dataset of 2,164 press releases related to the occurrence of 206 natural disasters (hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires) over a 10-year period (2005-2014) to analyze how firm responses are shaped by the type of disaster it faces. Firms play an increasingly important role in disaster response. We find that firms engage in more anticipatory responses when the type of disaster a firm faces exhibits even impact dispersion and high expected recurrence, and provides substantial warning. Our study draws a relationship between physical geography, disaster type, and more anticipatory firm responses which can improve how firms and communities respond to the risks posed by different types of natural disasters. The article concludes by outlining an agenda for future research on firm responses to natural disasters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-840
Number of pages28
JournalBusiness and Society
Issue number4
Early online date22 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • firm responses
  • geographic region
  • natural disasters
  • resilience


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