Measuring Successful Disaster Recovery

March 2018 (VOL. 36, NO. 1)

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Disaster recovery involves a delicate balance between mitigating risks posed by future hazards and acquiescing to the desire of the community to return to normal. Even the best plans and policies put forth under such conditions often do not address all factors that are critical for successful recovery. If there are no plans, it becomes much more difficult to assess a community’s recovery progress over time. In communities lacking robust planning capacity, metrics that characterize a community’s baseline and post-disaster status may serve as a roadmap to inform the best use of limited resources and focus energy and attention where it is most needed. To assist with this, a disaster recovery tracking tool comprised of 79 metrics was developed and tested to determine if it could be used to characterize recovery progress, identify problems with recovery, and support proactive recovery planning to improve future recovery and resilience.