Cindy Kimber, FEMA Region VII External Affairs specialist
With the National Disaster Recovery Framework as a backdrop for discussions about how survivors, communities and support agencies implement recovery, representatives from eight federal agencies gathered in Kansas City recently for the first-of-its-kind Recovery Support Function Summit.
A primary goal of the Summit was to identify ways to build upon the successes of communities such as Greensburg, Kan., and Joplin, Mo., in turning disaster tragedy into recovery triumph.
Beth Freeman, Region VII Administrator, opened the ceremony by stressing that disasters create unique challenges and complex issues. “Innovative, effective solutions come from leveraging the knowledge, expertise and resources of everyone involved in the recovery effort,” she said. “Recovery is not something one agency can support on its own.”
Representing Coordinating Agencies identified in the NDRF for each Recovery Support Function, participants discussed how to maximize existing relationships, organizations and programs to provide impacted communities with the best level of recovery support possible.
Additional agenda topics included exploring best practices from previous experiences, identifying specific roles to support events that do not receive disaster declarations, and understanding information analysis needs.
“Recovery requires a long-term approach to balance wide ranging inter-dependent decisions and possibilities,” said Tom Costello, Region VII Recovery Division director. “This alliance will put us on the same page, resulting in greater opportunities for successful recovery.”
Future meetings will include tribal, federal, state, non-profit and private sector representatives, with an emphasis on ensuring that federal agencies coordinate their work and collaborative approaches to the challenging and complex disaster recovery setting.