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The Recovery Phase of Emergency Management

Emergency management is often described in terms of phases or components, using terms such as mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Some sources add or substitute different terms, but virtually every source—policy documents, plans, manuals, textbooks, journals, and research reports—agree that “recovery” is an essential part of emergency management. This paper examines disaster “recovery,” focusing on the complexity of issues, multiple stakeholders, distinctions between short- and long-term recovery, conceptual models of community recovery, and the recovery of businesses impacted by disasters.  The purpose is to provide background information for transportation researchers and practitioners.

The paper also addresses the question of whether “recovery” has been neglected by researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.  Part of the answer seems to be that the current focus is more on eliminating or reducing the need for recovery. The public sector is emphasizing prevention, protection, reduced vulnerability, increased sustainability, and improved resilience.  Likewise, the private sector is giving increased attention to risk management and related concepts.

The full paper is available on the VECTOR website at:

Please contact Malcolm Baird for more information on this project.