Recovery phase (phase 5)

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Characteristics of the recovery phase


  • Recovery includes actions necessary to assist communities to restore their everyday lives. This requires good collaboration and the participation of citizens in decision making.
  • The ability of a community to accelerate the recovery process begins with its efforts in pre-disaster preparedness and overall resilience.
  • Recovery is not only the restoration of a community’s physical structures. Of equal importance is helping the community and individuals to recover from their physical and emotional hardships and help strengthen their resilience.
  • Monitoring of the situation, actions and needs of citizens and organisations involved is important.

Public perception and motivation

  • The public is active in interacting with all actors in order to get back to normal.
  • Matters of compensation will be more important in this phase.

Recommendations supporting empowerment in the recovery phase

  • Rebuilding needs effort and public initiatives are needed.
  • In this phase, initiatives on the part of all the actors involved can be encouraged, again utilizing contacts with citizen groups and intermediate organisations. All resources are useful and contacts with private organisations in the area also welcomed. An integral approach will focus on the functioning of society as a whole, including economic and social recovery.
  • Much public initiative is needed, for example, cleaning up after a flooding or riot, to make a neighbourhood function again.
  • Monitoring social and news media helps to see how people are coping with implementing the activities needed in the recovery phase and what information and other needs they have.
  • Decisions often have to be made about how an area is to be rebuilt. Empowerment calls for participative decision making, involving the local citizens in setting aims and how the work will be done. Recovery is all too often delegated to organisations that tend not to include citizen views.
  • Property damage will need to be addressed, e.g. through insurance claims.
  • Emotional aspects also need attention, for example, by spokespersons, showing that affected families are not forgotten. Public initiatives for sharing and mourning can be supported, for example, by memorial events and websites. Social networks have an important role, not only in the online environment but also face to face in groups and associations. Individual physical and psychological support needs to continue as long as this is needed.

Technology aspects and how it supports the recovery phase

Technology aspects

  • Technology will be restored gradually.
  • This phase often reveals a number of systems and applications with conflicting or out-dated information.

How technology could support public resilience

  • Social media can provide a channel for bi-directional communication between the organisations and citizens involved, and a common platform for people to share their concerns and experiences and possibly build a sense of community which, in turn, can be of assistance in the crisis recovery stage.
  • Social media platforms can be utilized in encouraging donations.
  • Facilitating the supply of support and mobilizing volunteers can be done through social networks. Technologies can be used to indicate what kinds of contributions are needed and where, and/or provide interactive mapping of available resources (e.g. where generators, clean water, food or shelter can be found)

Examples of best practices