Recovering from Disasters

Individuals & Families
Individuals and families need to plan and be prepared to sustain themselves in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Those who prepare reduce personal stress, and they enhance their ability to undertake their own recovery and shape the future of their community's recovery. The extent to which individuals and families adequately prepare for disasters has an impact on the success of the recovery. This includes carrying adequate insurance and maintaining essential levels of supplies, such as medication, food and water. Resources to help individuals and families prepare are available through websites and publications of various organizations that are active in disasters, including local, state, tribal and federal agencies. Maintaining awareness of public information on the recovery process helps to eliminate confusion and uncertainty.

Private Sector
The private sector plays a critical role in establishing public confidence immediately after a disaster. When the private sector is operational, the community recovers more quickly by retaining and providing jobs and a stable tax base. If local leadership and the business community work together pre-disaster and develop a conceptual recovery plan, the public is more likely to be optimistic about the community's ability to recover post-disaster. Additionally, the private-sector owns and operates the vast majority of the Nation's critical infrastructure, such as electric power, financial and telecommunications systems. These entities play a major role in the recovery of a community or region as a whole.

Nonprofit Sector
The nonprofit sector plays a vital role in the recovery of impacted communities. Nonprofits include voluntary, faith-based and community organizations, charities, foundations and philanthropic groups as well as professional associations and academic institutions. The formidable value of the work of these stakeholders resides in:
  • Community recovery planning
  • Case management services
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Behavioral health
  • Psychological and emotional support
  • Technical and financial support
  • Housing repair and construction that meets accessibility/universal design standards
  • Project implementation