The goal of this paper is to explore the dynamics of one East Texas community’s responses to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Literature on community response to disaster forms a basis for reflections on observed local response activities, including convergence behavior. In particular, the concept of social capital is compared to, and contrasted with, Barton’s model of therapeutic community. Social control is a relatively unexplored element of social capital, but one that helps us understand the development of normative frameworks, generalized trust, and the perceived legitimacy of institutions–important factors in effective community response to disasters. In conclusion, implications for future preparedness are mentioned.

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