Recovery = those capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident in recovering effectively.

Recovery is primarily centered around timely restoration of services and strengthening and revitalization of; infrastructure, housing, sustainable economy, and health, social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of our community affected by a catastrophic incident.

The four periods of recovery and their duration include;

  • Preparedness – ongoing, before the disaster
  • Short-term – days after the disaster
  • Intermediate – weeks to months following the disaster
  • Long-term – month to years

Core Capabilities: Recovery

Recover through a focus on the timely restoration, strengthening and revitalization of infrastructure, housing and a sustainable economy, as well as the health, social, cultural, historic and environmental fabric of communities affected by a catastrophic incident.

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Recovery Continuum

This recovery continuum describes overlapping recovery activities by phase, as well as the size and scope of disaster and recovery efforts.

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Pre-Disaster Preparedness

Examples include:

  • Pre-disaster recovery planning


  • Mitigation planning and implementation


  • Community capacity and resilience building


  • Conducting disaster preparedness exercises


  • Partnership building


  • Articulating protocols in disaster plans for services to meet the emotional and health care needs of adults and children

Short-Term Recovery

Examples include:

Mass Care/Sheltering:

  • Provide integrated mass care and emergency services


  • Clear primary transportation routes


  • Establish temporary or interim infrastructure to support business re-openings
  • Reestablish cash flow


  • Identify adults and children who would benefit from counseling or behavioral health services and begin treatment

Public Health and Health Care:

  • Provide emergency and temporary medical care and establish appropriate surveillance protocols

Mitigation Activities:

  • Assess and understand risks and vulnerabilities

Intermediate Recovery

Examples include:


  • Provide accessible interim housing solutions


  • Initiate debris removal
  • Plan immediate infrastructure repair and restoration


  • Support reestablishment of businesses where appropriate
  • Support the establishment of business recovery one-stop centers


  • Engage support networks for ongoing care

Public Health and Health Care:

  • Ensure continuity of care through temporary facilities

Mitigation Activities:

  • Inform community members of opportunities to build back stronger

Long-Term Recovery

Examples include:


  • Develop permanent housing solutions


  • Rebuild infrastructure to meet future community needs


  • Implement economic revitalization strategies
  • Facilitate funding to business rebuilding


  • Follow up for ongoing counseling, behavioral health, and case management services

Public Health and Health Care:

  • Reestablishment of disrupted health care facilities

Mitigation Activities:

  • Implement mitigation strategies

The 9 Critical Keys of Compliance


Centralize and Organize

Clients wish they knew to centralize compliance documentation and prepare for closeout from the beginning.

Designate One Voice

Clients wish their agency spoke with one voice regarding compliance matters. Sending mixed messages regarding the program raised unnecessary questions about compliance.

Protect your Wallet

Clients wish they maintained separate project files for compliance, so that less disruption of daily business occurs during the Compliance Audit process.

Always Track Funds by the Scope of Work

Clients wish they knew that when using multiple sources of funding on a single project, funding must be tracked by scope of work.

Establish Procedures for Overtime Pay in Advance

Clients are advised to modify their employee handbook, to establish disaster-related overtime pay procedures, for salaried employees.

Designate a Program Representative

Clients wish they knew that a compliance audit is different than a financial audit. They would have assigned a representative with program knowledge rather than an internal auditor.

Engage Your Communications Team

Clients wish they knew to engage their communications and government relations teams early in the process, to manage the agency’s recovery message.

Know Your Power

Clients wish they knew they had the power to advocate for immediate policy changes that would result in better cash flow and a faster recovery.

Strengthen Internal Controls

Clients wish they knew to implement a detailed system of tracking multi-departmental spending. Most clients believe they “left money on the table” due to a lack of internal controls.

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The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) is a guide to promote effective recovery, particularly for those incidents that are large scale or catastrophic.

The NDRF provides guidance that enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted States, Tribes, and Local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. It also focuses on how best to restore, redevelop, and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural, and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient Nation.

The NDRF defines:

  • Recovery core principles
  • Roles and responsibilities of recovery coordinators and other stakeholders
  • A coordinating structure that facilitates communication and collaboration among all stakeholders
  • Guidance for pre-disaster and post-disaster recovery planning
  • The overall process by which communities can capitalize on opportunities to rebuild stronger, smarter, and safer

The National Preparedness Goal identifies preliminary targets in building recovery capabilities related to:

  • Planning
  • Public Information and Warning
  • Operational Coordination
  • Economic Recovery
  • Health and Social Services
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure Systems
  • Natural and Cultural Resources

Another great resource for recovery is the Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments, and can be found at the website link below.

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National Disaster Recovery Framework

The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) establishes a common platform and forum for how the whole community builds, sustains, and coordinates delivery of recovery capabilities. Through effective coordination of partners and resources, we can ensure the continuity of services and support to meet the needs of affected community members who have experienced the hardships of financial, emotional, and/or physical impacts of devastating disasters.