1 thought on “Recovery, or not

  1. Regardless of where one resides disasters can have a devasting and lasting impact on the population. While the challenges associated with recovery might differ depending on location, the resulting suffering from disasters is essentially the same. At times rural areas can experience greater difficulty with recovery as there is a lack of infrastructure and needed resources required for successful recovery when compared to urban areas. Look at the struggles remote rural communities in West Virginia, North Caroline and Louisiana are having with recovery efforts from flooding that has occurred during the past year. This report highlights some issues adversely impacting recovery work of rural communities.

    While no single location is free from disasters, there is no question certain places, like coastal and waterfront communities, are at higher risk for major disasters. It is important that sound mitigation practices be utilized when rebuilding storm damaged communities. If smart growth redevelopment tools are employed during recovery, it can greatly reduce the future cost of disasters. There are many excellent examples of best practices with recovery work associated with Hurricane Katrina and Supersstorm Sandy, which proves that mitigation does works when properly applied.

    However, despite best efforts, there appears to be many more horror stories from Katrina and Sandy compared to positive or good stories from these storms. FEMA does some remarkable work with certain aspects of the emergency management cycle, but falls short with regards to recovery and mitigation work. Without corrective action, recovery efforts will continue to frustrate individuals, businesses and public entities, which will drive up the cost of recovery along with extending the time needed for recovery. There is no silver bullet that will fix the shortcomings of FEMA with respect to recovery, but a good start would include enhancing the professionalism of reservists employees, increasing the use of technology along with allocating additional funding to mitigation projects.

    Finally, not to sure the authors are from America as I never heard anyone refer to Queens as a “holiday city.” True, Queens is not like Manhattan but it is developed and very much urbanized.

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