Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sustainable Communities

First Advisor

Robert Holahan

Second Advisor

George Homsy


Due to climate change, small island developing states (SIDS) will experience natural hazards, such as hurricanes, with increased frequency and with greater intensity. This thesis seeks to provide insight for a case study of SIDS by examining the protocols used, awareness of the situation, and preparedness of the country of Dominica during the event of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. The study of this island’s response to this disaster event serves as an assessment of how well SIDS, particularly those located in the Caribbean region, can respond and recover. Through fieldwork, I acquired qualitative data using interviews of local individuals. The results suggest that islands have many factors that challenge the resilience of island populations. These challenges are rooted in the historical, environmental, political, social, and economic characteristics of the island. As a consequence, SIDS will have to address these challenges to emerge as sustainable communities.