Abstract

This paper takes a case of Xavier snowstorm of March 15–16, 2013 in two Belarusian cities of Minsk and Mahilioŭ, and uses it to demonstrate how failures in communication in organisation hamper adaptation to an extreme weather event even in such a snow-proof society as Belarus. Highly hierarchical governance by the state causes a number of institutional misfits and interplays resulting in major implementation and decision making deficits; for the same reason governmental organisations have limited capacity to learn and prepare for future adaptations. Non-state actors were reluctant to take pro-active approach on the phase of post-disaster sense-making, although they demonstrated strong leadership and selforganisation during the storm. Except generic governance issues in Belarus, this also can be due to mal-resilient institutional legacies lasting from USSR times.

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