Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yes, Long-Term Recovery Does Need Coordination

I recently read an article from the Emergency Management website that I would encourage others to take a look at during the usual lull that precedes a new year. This article (Long Term Recovery Needs Coordination...) talks about long term recovery and the role that the public, private, and nonprofit sectors play in helping communities deal with the long-term effects of disasters. Stepping back from the points that were made I must say that I was pleased to see this issue being recognized by the emergency management community as a first step to dealing with the problem.

My experience in dealing with disasters is not extensive but when I've talked to people in the past about this issue it seems that the emergency management perspective has been historically slanted towards restoring vital operations rather than dealing with bigger issues (business and homeowner displacement, re-stabilizing community institutions such as schools and recreational leagues, etc). In other words we could say that they focused on Response, not Recovery. This is not necessarily a bad thing since the job description for emergency management professionals has traditionally been defined to deal with the event response but it has meant there has been a void where another set of individuals has to come in and lead the community to a "new normal" in the years after the disaster.

So now what? We have recognition from the emergency management sector of the issue and a national effort to come up with a framework to deal with recovery but what else is needed? I think we need to look at all of our communities in a prioritized fashion and make sure that they are ready to employ all of the 4 C's (Communication, Cooperation, Coordination, and Collaboration) in an effective way if they are hit by a disaster in the future. We won't have foolproof plans, but we will know how to adapt and deal with the unexpected in our communities.

I'd love to hear your questions, comments, and complaints on this post in the Comments section. I've somehow managed to get a few hits on the site yesterday so I'm going to assume that either someone out there has stopped by or the Google servers were just checking in. If you're an actual human leave me a note and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hey, Giovanni - congrats on getting this worthwhile blog up. I discovered it through a linked-in update, so thought I would check it out, very nice. It's a good idea and probably fun, as well. I like the 4 Cs concept/process for community building. FEMA elaborates on the 4Cs in the context of disaster response in one of their online courses - can't remember the title of the course at this time. Looking forward to your blog. It's an inspiration! Best in the new year.

  2. Thanks for your note Karen. I have to give credit where credit is due - the 4 C's conccept is something that the VOAD movement has been pushing out to communities for quite a while now.

    I'll do my best to keep the blog updated and interesting on a regular basis. Thanks for being my first commenter!