Disasters threaten human and animal lives across the world. Governments and certain non-profit making organizations have been at the forefront in establishing a disaster phase model. The model aims at reducing the negative impacts of devastating events. It is argued that ruinous events occur within a short period, but their impacts are immense (Kidwell 2). This paper explains some of the reasons why understanding and managing a disaster recovery phase prove to be a challenge for most emergency planners.
Disaster Recovery Phase
Disaster recovery involves an attempt of a country or community to regain what it has lost with a concise strategy on how to avert calamities in the future (Coppola 299). The disaster recovery process is a complicated stage because it is expected to address issues related to disasters both before and after their occurrence. The recovery actions build on previous disasters and emergency planners implement both planned and unplanned recovery actions in case of another disaster. Some actions of the mitigation, preparedness, and response phases are also included in the recovery phase, making it difficult to describe the stage as a single process.
Appropriate management of the phase is crucial because planners mostly concentrate on the last three phases of the disaster phase model. Considering that the main objective of the first three recovery phases is to prevent the occurrence of a calamity, most government and community funds are focused on strengthening the steps for minimizing the negative impacts of ruinous events. Thus, fewer funds are utilized in the recovery phase (Coppola 300).
It is challenging to manage the recovery phase because ‘nobody knows exactly how and where the consequences of a disaster would manifest’ (Coppola 301). In addition, the phase is a complex process to understand because the plans that are put in place are hypothetical and are built on situations that are not specific. The process requires inputs of planning, coordination, and funding functions, which are costly. Rushed decisions have inadequate sets of goals and objectives. If the recovery process is conducted in such an environment, the effectiveness of the process to produce a more disaster-resistant community is diminished (Kidwell 3).
Planning for recovery from a disaster is significant in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the community. There are both pre-disaster and post-disaster recovery planning options, but the success of these methods is purely dependent on the perception that characterizes a community. Managing and planning the disaster recovery options may be hampered by constant pressure on emergency managers, which could come from community leaders and business people.
The 2006 Hurricane Katrina, for instance, is a disaster that hit the USA at a time when there were inferior pre-disaster strategies in place. People complained about the local, state, and federal governments’ failure to implement appropriate disaster recovery planning approaches after the incident (Kidwell 4). The city of Kansas also suffered the same fate in 2007 when a tornado affected it, owing to ineffective and poorly-managed disaster recovery plans by the city council (Coppola 344).
The disaster recovery phase is a crucial component of the disaster model life cycle, but it is also a stage that requires a considerable amount of input about planning, coordination, and funding in order for it to be consequential. The phase is interrelated to the three disaster recovery phases of mitigation, planning, and response. Hence, its full benefits are only realized when the three stages are also fully functional. However, the implementation of the post-disaster recovery strategies, such as appropriate repair and construction, proves to be more result-oriented than the pre-disaster planning strategies that rely on hypothetical ideas.
Coppola, Damon P. Introduction to international disaster management. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Butterworth Heinemann, 2007. Print.
Kidwell, Richard P. “Risk Management Fundamentals.” Postgraduate Obstetrics & Gynecology 24.20 (2004): 1-4. Print.