The Broader Context of Disaster Recovery
The Broader Context of Disaster Recovery
Recovering from a disaster is one of the greatest challenges for communities in many parts of the world. People perceive it as a struggle against the adverse forces of nature, often condemned for the occurrence of disasters and the destruction associated with their occurrence. The stages of disaster recovery are often two. The first one occurs prior to the happening of the disaster of the disaster and measures the level of preparedness in the community with respect to absorbing the shocks associated with the occurrence of the disaster. On the other, the second stage defines the post-occurrence phase of the disaster and centers on factors such as the urgency of response by the community and the availability of necessary resources to assist victims in the process of recovery (Zhang, Yang, & Mao, 2011). It is important to note that the process of disaster recovery does not refer to a set of particular actions occasioned by the aftermath of a disaster.
It touches on the activities performed before and after a disaster occurs. In fact, disaster recovery is a set of connected activities that happen prior to the disaster, during, and after the disaster. Several sets of information can be availed to the vulnerable communities as one of the measures of disaster recovery measures before the occurrence of the disaster. The pre-established types of information before a disaster are discussed as follows:
The Nature of Expected Disasters
The nature of the disaster expected is an important set of pre-established information that can be availed prior to the occurrence of the disaster. Today, studies and extensive research carried out in the various field has enabled professionals to establish the particular attributes of populations. Moreover, the same studies shave been carried out on the available natural resources. All these studies can help to determine the most likely disasters in a region.
For instance, areas deemed to be seismically active will expect higher likelihoods of earthquakes and other forms of tectonic disasters such as landslides. At the same time, areas with poor drainage expect higher tendencies of floods. The nature of the expected disasters can help to anticipate the adversity of the aftermath and the type of effects that will accrue to the victims. In the medical context, incidences such as diseases are expected after the occurrence of certain types of disasters (Perry, 2011). For example, cases of waterborne diseases may rise after the occurrence of floods hence information services have to recommend medical institutions to be adequately equipped with contingency plans to deal with rising cases of waterborne diseases.
Evacuation Plans and their Applicability
An evacuation plan refers to the procedure undertaken to ensure that the victims in a particular disaster are moved to a secure location where the effects of the disaster will not affect them. An evacuation plan may be simple and straightforward or complex and risky depending on the nature of the disaster. Information services have to reveal the presence of an evacuation plan within the community or the organization. In cases where there is no contingency plan, the information services have to urge the concerned institution to implement and put such a plan in the plan. The evacuation plan is important because it helps to reduce the adversity of the disaster (Zhang, Yang, & Mao, 2011). An effective evacuation plan will reduce the number of people suffering the effects of the disaster, which is important for mitigating the costs incurred in the process of recovery and victim reimbursement.
The practicality of the evacuation plan is also an important aspect of the information services. When preparing for the disaster, it is important to point out the practicality of the evacuation plan. They should be simple and straightforward such that the potential victims are in a position to minimize the risks of losing lives and injuries whenever the disaster occurs (Many, Hansel, Moore, Rosenburg, & Osofsky, 2012). For instance, a building with several stories should have equipment for the control of fire on every floor. The practicality of such disaster management measure is that any of the staff in the organization can be trained on the use of the equipment and use it to control the spread of fire in case there is an outbreak.
Backup Plans for Individuals and Organizations
Information services must enlighten the potential of the process of disaster management by having backup plans. Backup plans can be referred to as the allocation of resources in any form, which is usable in making the individual or the organization restore his or her previous position. They can include measures and procedures such as insurance covers where the individual or the organization pays a certain rate of premium to an insurer. The premiums are repaid back in a lump sum to the party who has been paying the premium and used to indemnify him or her against the loss incurred.
Information services touching on the use of these backup plans must illustrate the importance of these plans to the potential victims of a disaster (Many, Hansel, Moore, Rosenburg, & Osofsky, 2012). For instance, in the case of medical back up plans, the victim must be aware that the occurrence of a disaster may lead to the loss of his or her life. As such, detrimental effects may accrue to his or her dependents, which should encourage him or her to take a life assurance cover in which some resources will be allocated to these dependents in case of death. Information services should aim at the creation of awareness when it comes to backup plans. They should also direct the potential victims on the manner in which they can use these plans.
Placement of the Resources
Information services resources may be available but inefficient. Their efficiency depends on the manner in which the users or the parties availing the resources may place them with respect to the role they serve. Placing the resources goes a long way to determining the extent to which they will be efficient and serve the purpose they are meant for in the organization or community (Perry, 2011). Several considerations come into play when it come to the exact venues that should host information services pre-established before the occurrence of the disaster.
First, these resources should be placed near the community or group of individuals and organizations that are susceptible to the effects of the disaster. In order to ensure effective disaster management prior to the occurrence of the disaster, the resources have to be placed in areas where the users have an easy access for use. The nature of the information service also determines its placement. For instance, resources meant to create awareness about a possible impending disaster such as a flood and tectonic activity should be placed at public information centers and newsrooms such as television and radio stations.
On the other hand, other resources should be placed in areas where the vulnerable parties can access them easily. Such accessibility is possible through specialization where several institutions focus on helping the potential victims to recover fromthe disasters (Perry, 2011). For instance, the establishment of several insurance firms in a particular area is one of the mechanisms used to place disaster management resources. These resources should be as close to the potential victims as possible to ensure that they are used maximally.
Developing for Specific Concerns and Populations
Resources regarded as information services with respect to the management of disasters should be developed for specific concerns and populations. Disasters vary in terms of characteristics and nature. The effects resulting from an earthquake are different from those realized from an artificial terrorist attack even in terms of the medical effects on the patients. As such, resources allocated to the dissemination of information must address the concerns related to the occurrence of a particular disaster.
They should also be related to specific populations given that they also have their unique attributes in terms of the exposure and vulnerability to certain disasters. For instance, the nature of disasters experienced in the United States may vary from those experienced in Asia and Africa. The implication is that these populations have to prepare differently for all these types of disasters in order to recover effectively (Many, Hansel, Moore, Rosenburg, & Osofsky, 2012). Therefore, resources should over specific disasters to improve the effect of the prior disaster management. Failure to do this means that a majority of the procedures used in the preparation process is irrelevant, as it cannot cover the course and scope of the disaster that occurs.
Many, M., Hansel, T., Moore, M., Rosenburg, Z., & Osofsky, H. (2012). The Function of Avoidance in Improving the Understanding of Disaster Recovery. Journal of Human Behavior in The Social Environment. doi:10.1080/10911359.2012.664974
Perry, K. E. (2011). Like a fish out of water: Reconsidering disaster recovery and the role of place and social capital in community disaster resilience. American Journal of Community Psychology. doi:10.1007/s10464-011-9427-0
Zhang, G., Yang, Y., & Mao, X. (2011). Disaster recovery evaluation PROC model framework based on information flow. doi:10.1109/ICCSNT.2011.6182328