4 Strategies for Disaster Relief

By Jeff Palmer, CEO on May 15, 2017 | Print

To recap last week’s post:

When responding to acute needs, we want to apply disaster response and relief strategies. Conversely, responding to chronic needs, we want to think more of community development strategies.

Some would say there are multiple stages between relief and development:
relief – recovery – rehabilitation – restoration – development

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll consolidate these into two stages:
relief – development

We will think of relief and development along a continuum, after a disaster event, moving from initial relief efforts eventually to community involvement and community led development. It is a wide range and has many variations.

4 Strategies for Disaster Relief:

When people think of responding to disasters, they typically think of the most common strategy which is relief work. While relief work is the most recognizable strategy after disasters occur, there are several facets to disaster relief work worth mentioning.

    1. Disaster Relief responding after a disaster event usually meeting lifeline needs such as food, water, shelter, medical care, etc. Individuals and organizations partaking in disaster relief efforts are generally trained in the broad scope and particular sectors of responding to a disaster. Organizations purporting to be disaster relief organizations usually have some type of certification or accreditation for those assisting in their efforts. They also have well defined protocols and operational procedures recognizing their strengths and weaknesses to be able to respond to particular disasters. They can be general responders/organization or have a laser-focused particular set of skills addressing certain components of a disaster such as search and recovery, medical treatment, food distribution, shelter construction, etc.
    2. Disaster Mitigationhelping individuals, communities and organizations think through the risk and potential solutions to common disasters in their respective areas. This is usually done in the form of training and consultation giving solid advice and information on how a group can be better prepared and minimize the impact of the next disaster event.
    3. Disaster Managementtraining and equipping of organizations and groups to become disaster responders themselves. These can be focuses on local disasters or global ones.
    4. Recovery and Rehabilitationdevelopment of predetermined strategies and resources for the longer term recovery after a disaster event. An example would be a company that produces a marketable good/necessity for disaster responders such as temporary housing and shelter.

Disaster relief, disaster mitigation, disaster management, and recovery and rehabilitation are all ways to help after a disaster. In what ways have you participated in these strategies?

Chuck McAlister 7 years ago

Excellent explanation!

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