Recovery is defined as the actions taken to return the community to normal following a disaster. Repairing, replacing, or rebuilding property are examples of recovery.
The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state. It differs from the response phase in its focus; recovery efforts are concerned with issues and decisions that must be made after immediate needs are addressed. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment, and the repair of other essential infrastructure. Efforts should be made to “build back better”, aiming to reduce the pre-disaster risks inherent in the community and infrastructure. An important aspect of effective recovery efforts is taking advantage of a ‘window of opportunity’ for the implementation of mitigative measures that might otherwise be unpopular. Citizens of the affected area are more likely to accept more mitigative changes when a recent disaster is in fresh memory.
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93-288, as amended (the Stafford Act) was enacted to support State and local governments and their citizens when disasters overwhelm them. The Disaster Process and Disaster Aid Programs explains the disaster declaration process and provides an overview of available assistance.
There are individual assistance programs (an overview of individual assistance programs) that assist people and businesses following a disaster and help you get back on your feet. Public Assistance Programs provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance to help state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations rebuild.