Main Content

Resources to Organize Following a Disaster

Main Content

This section provides resources for organizing local leadership, involving the local community, and coordinating among community stakeholders.

The Community Recovery Management Toolkit is a compilation of guidance, case studies, tools, and training to assist local communities in managing long-term recovery following a disaster. The materials provided in this toolkit are aimed at providing guidance and resources to help local officials and community leaders to lead, organize, plan for, and manage the complex issues of post-disaster recovery.

Community Recovery Leadership

Joplin Pays it Forward - This book is a collection of essays written by community leaders, public safety officials, and volunteer coordinators about what was learned during the Joplin rebuilding efforts.

Citizen-Driven Recovery: Interview with Jane Cage - Jane Cage, a resident of Joplin, Missouri, talks about her experience leading the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART), a group that would gather the full spectrum of residents to help Joplin rebuild after a devastating tornado.

Cedar Rapids Flood Recovery: An Interview with Christine Butterfield audio podcast - Christine Butterfield speaks about the extensive planning effort to rebuild the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a record-breaking flood in June 2008.

Case Study: Building Capacity for Economic Recovery and Preparedness in Polk County, Florida - This case study highlights how Polk County’s local economic development and chamber organizations quickly responded to the needs of impacted businesses and built a team to address ongoing recovery issues after the 2004 hurricane season.   

A Peer Learning Forum of the NADO Research Foundation: Innovative Approaches to Disaster Recovery and Economic Resilience - This report shares examples of successful recovery strategies, as well as shared challenges, from participants in a two-day forum held in June 2011 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

At the Cross Roads of Recovery, Joplin Missouri Six Months After -  Documents recovery efforts in Joplin six months after  the 2011 tornado devastated the community.

Colorado Community Recovery Symposium – Overview -  The Symposium was held on November 21, 2013, and brought leaders from disaster-affected communities around the country to share their recovery experience with affected Colorado community leaders. 

Colorado Community Recovery Symposium Peer Leadership Videos:


Community Engagement and Public Communications

Long-Term Community Recovery Toolbox: Communications Mapping Tool  - This tool guides a community or organization through a practical exercise to identify and map important lines of communication during recovery.

Tools for Communicating with all Audiences, Including People with Disabilities - This site provides links to guidance on integrating accessibility into meetings, documents, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other communication methods.

Webinar: How to Communicate Effectively Before and After a Crisis  - This webinar addresses how to effectively communicate with businesses during and after a disaster, and how to work with the media, establish a crisis communication plan, use social media, text messaging, and other grassroots methods to successfully reach your audience.

The Use of Social Media for Disaster Recovery - This guide presents lessons learned and step-by-step guidance for developing a local social media messaging program following a disaster.

Risk Behavior and Risk Communication: Synthesis and Expert Interviews - This report assists officials in understanding coastal risks and communicating that information effectively to stakeholders in order to inspire action.

Citizen's Advisory Recovery Team (CART) website for Joplin Recovery - Joplin's Citizen Advisory Recovery Team Website may serve as an example website for communicating recovery efforts to the public.

“Getting Real II” Promising Practices in Inclusive Emergency Management for the Whole Community Conference  - This webcast has more than 40 best practices in inclusive emergency management nationwide and features local, regional, state and federal emergency managers, disability community advocates and educators at all levels.

Christchurch: After the Earthquake, a City Rebuilt in Whose Image? - This article details the process by which Christchurch, New Zealand established a single body responsible for rebuilding, and soon recognized the need for community engagement and integration of a public vision to build back in a more sustainable and resilient way.

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery Briefing Papers: Public Engagement in Recovery Planning - APA  guidance provides four key points to consider when engaging the public after a disaster event.

Flood Recovery Resource Guide: Boulder County - An example of local governments communication effort for comprehensive guidance to citizens and describes locally-generated resources that have guided local recovery programs.

Public Health Workbook: To Define, Locate, and Reach Special, Vulnerable, and At-risk Populations in an Emergency -Provides a science base and practical guidelines for engaging the public in community decision-making and action for health promotion, health protection, and disease prevention.

A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action - Presents a foundation for increasing individual preparedness and engagement with members of the community as collaborative resources to enhance resiliency and security. The document provides a strategic framework to integrate Whole Community into the recovery process.

Whole Community Promising Examples - Examples of community efforts that exemplify the FEMA Whole Community approach to disaster recovery and building community resilience. The Joplin, Missouri Independent Living Centers and the New Orleans EvacuSpots programs are examples of post-disaster recovery programs.


Organizing and Coordinating among Local Government and Stakeholders

Model Pre-Event Recovery Ordinance - The adoption of an ordinance before or after a damaging event can help communities to move toward better management of disaster recovery. This model ordinance outlines a foundation on which a community can organize to efficiently manage short- and long-term recovery.

Disaster Recovery: A Local Government Responsibility - This article addresses municipal government's role in disaster recovery, covering each step in the four-step emergency management cycle.

Introduction to Stakeholder Participation  - This publication discusses some of the most important considerations and offers a guide to the most common techniques for stakeholder participation, including determining when it is needed, and identifying and analyzing stakeholders.

Stakeholder Engagement Strategies for Participatory Mapping - This publication provides strategies for facilitators leading a participatory mapping process.

Navigating in Rough Seas: Planning and Facilitating Collaborative Meetings - This two-day instructor-led course is designed to increase participants’ ability to plan and facilitate a meeting (or a series of meetings) that minimize conflict and enhance problem solving.

Long-Term Recovery Guide - This document provides guidance for organizing a long-term recovery group, and management of volunteers and donations.

Rebuild by Design: Elements of Effective Engagement - Describes effective local community engagement and collaboration opportunities and the capacity building the process will engender with sample case studies.

City of Cedar Rapids Neighborhood Planning Process: Executive Summary - Provides a framework plan for the City’s neighborhood planning process and the City Vision and Purpose of the plan.

Last Updated: 
02/27/2015 - 15:23