Holistic Disaster Recovery

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Holistic Disaster Recovery: Creating a More Sustainable Future : 

Holistic Disaster Recovery: Creating a More Sustainable Future Superheroes June 20, 2010 Jim Lanier, Keith Noble, Sanquinetta Sanford, Sean Werner

Defining sustainable disaster recovery : 

Defining sustainable disaster recovery Disaster recovery is viewed by some people as a fight against Mother Nature to restore order in a community. However, the disaster recovery process is not a set of orderly actions triggered by the impact of a disaster upon a community. Rather, disaster recovery is a set of loosely related activities that occur before, during, and after a disastrous event. A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources (IFRC 2010).

Dimensions of RecoveryThese activities can include: : 

Dimensions of RecoveryThese activities can include: warning and ongoing public information evacuation and sheltering search and rescue damage assessments debris clearance, removal and disposal utilities and communications restoration re-establishment of major transport linkages temporary housing financial management economic impact analyses detailed building inspections redevelopment planning environmental assessments demolition reconstruction hazard mitigation and preparation for the next disaster.

The 10-Step Process for Local Planning and Action : 

The 10-Step Process for Local Planning and Action 1. Get organized. 2. Involve the public. 3. Coordinate with other agencies, departments, and groups. 4. Identify the problem situation. 5. Evaluate the problem & identify opportunities. 6. Set goals. 7. Explore all alternative strategies. 8. Plan for action. 9. Get agreement on the action plan. 10. Implement, evaluate, and revise. The City of Houston has a YouTube channel that includes many steps in the 10 step process using video. City of Houston Office of Emergency Management YouTube channel.

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One of the Primary Keys to Success: Effective Local Leadership!

Stakeholders and their Roles in Recovery : 

Stakeholders and their Roles in Recovery Be aware of every person, business, agency, and organization that may be affected by a potential decision and include them in the decision making process. Some may benefit directly from the action being taken, while others may benefit from the multi-objective element of the action. Build as wide a supporting constituent base as possible and include them in the decision making process.

Framework for Sustainable Hazards Mitigation : 

Framework for Sustainable Hazards Mitigation ● Maintain, and, if possible, enhance people’s quality of life; Foster local resiliency to and responsibility for disasters; Recognize that sustainable, vital local economies are essential; Identify and ensure inter- and intragenerational equity; and Adopt a consensus-building approach, starting at the local level (pp.30-35, 1999).

Common Effects of Disaster Include: : 

Common Effects of Disaster Include: Physical Effects Damage to buildings, commercial structures, and community facilities Alteration of the landscape, such as in a landslide or major flood Environmental contamination by chemicals or pollutants

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Social Effects Stress and psychological trauma Focus on the short term, foregoing long-term goals and opportunities Delay of programs that serve long-standing social needs Gaps in community economic classes tend to widen

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Economic Effects Loss of businesses Loss of jobs Reduced cash flow within the community Adverse ripple effects in community investment

Decision Making in Sustainable Disaster Recovery : 

Decision Making in Sustainable Disaster Recovery • Social, economic, environmental, recreational, and other community goals can be achieved during recovery, resulting in a community that is a better place to live, work, and play than it was before the disaster. • The choices made following a disaster can enhance not only the lives of those facing the long road to recovery, but also the lives of future generations. ● Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Impediments to a Sustainable Recovery (Part I) : 

Impediments to a Sustainable Recovery (Part I) The degree of damage inflicted upon the community. Rules, regulations, and policies. The immediate change in the roles and procedures of local government officials. Searching for the extraordinary solution to what appears to be an extraordinary problem. The lack of systematic communication between decision makers, various departments and agencies, and stakeholders. The lack of political will to “do the right thing.”

Funding for Recovery : 

Funding for Recovery Other “money” issues, such as property rights, development, insurance, land use, and substandard housing. The propensity to strive for “a return to normal.” A lack of awareness of what the true redevelopment possibilities are.

Impediments to a Sustainable Recovery (Part II) : 

Impediments to a Sustainable Recovery (Part II) Gender – Males are usually second to women and children in rescuing and placement Race – Most of the impoverished communities are saturated with minorities. Economic Stability or Lack thereof – Those who have financial stability will be better prepared to evacuate and require less governmental assistance to survive. Health – Those with health issues (male or female) are placed a head of those who are in good physical and mental health to receive aid and assistance Age- The elderly and very young require more assistance Education – Those who lack literacy face a challenge in understanding instructions and have to be aided by others to obtain safety and aid Family size – Larger family size to low income ratios require more financial assistance as well as larger housing demands from the government versus a small family. Citizenship – Illegal immigrants often face deportation when discovered, restrictions on obtaining aid, and face harder situations to return to normalcy.

Cited : 

Cited Mileti, Dennis. 1999. Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, D.C. Quarantelli, E.L., ed. 1998. What is a Disaster? Perspectives on the Question. London: Routledge. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 2010. (IFRC 2010) Disasater Management: http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/about/index.asp Houston’s OEM Channel. Retrieved on 6/20/2010 from: http://www.youtube.com/houstonoem. City of Houston OEM.

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