How we help communities recover from disaster

First in, last out. We are committed to helping people recover from emergencies. Download our book for leaders in disaster recovery or read our recovery principles to bring the best possible practice to your community.

Recovery is not a uniform process, and everyone has different needs. We know from experience that relocating families and communities is a complex and challenging task for everyone.

Download our book for leaders in disaster recovery

Leading in Disaster Recovery: Companion through the Chaos (PDF download), is a book for leaders working in disaster recovery.

New Zealand Red Cross and a researcher from Stanford University interviewed more than 100 people from New Zealand and around the world. Leaders we spoke to had worked during the Haiti earthquake, Japanese Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Australian bushfires.

The Companion shares their hard-won wisdom, practical strategies and tools for people who find themselves in any sort of leadership role during a disaster. Many, like those who contributed, will not identify as leaders – yet they undoubtedly are. Leadership takes many shapes.

Elizabeth McNaughton, who co-authored the book says its motivation came from working during the Canterbury earthquakes.

“We realised nothing existed about leading while recovering from a disaster. Manuals for recovery programming and leadership in general abound. But leading in disaster recovery is a different experience – it is relentless, workloads are enormous, exhaustion sets in, you are making decisions constantly between competing priorities all while trying to imagine the future in a rapidly changing environment – and this continues for years.”

Download the book today:

Leading in Disaster Recovery - A Companion through the Chaos (PDF)

Using best practice through recovery

Following disasters we use global best practice and key learnings from other international disasters to bring the best possible practice to community recovery programmes.

Post-disaster recovery efforts demand coordination of effort, effective communication and clear strategic leadership.

Our recovery principles

  1. Use community-led approaches: Successful recovery is most effective when conducted at the local level with understanding of the community context.
  2. Ensure effective coordination of all activities: Successful recovery requires mechanisms that support integrated planning, reporting and effective two way communication at all levels.
  3. Acknowledge and build capacity: Successful recovery supports and recognises the diverse needs and capacity of groups within a community including local Iwi.
  4. Recognise complexity: Recovery management arrangements are successful when they recognise the dynamic nature of emergencies and communities and how their needs change over time.
  5. Share, analyse and apply quality information: Successful recovery is based on a common and comprehensive recovery picture underpinned by robust communication, analysis, monitoring and reporting.
  6. Provide timely, fair, equitable and flexible recovery services: Recovery is most effective where assistance measures are provided in a timely, fair and equitable manner and are sufficiently flexible to respond to a diversity of community needs.
  7. Ensure vulnerability to disasters is not rebuilt: Successful recovery is an opportunity to plan for the future and build back better.