Role of Voluntary Organizers: Experiences in Post-Disaster Rehabilitation

Published on: 2018/05/28

Dr. VC Jacob


Do we need the services of national or international voluntary organizers in the rehabilitation of victims of major disasters like earthquakes?

This has been a question asked by many as there is always a doubt about the motive behind the help coming from various national and international organizations, political parties, religious organizations, voluntary social organizations and so on.

Interest Category

Post disaster recovery, Disaster management

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Post-disaster recovery

Post-disaster recovery can be defined as decisions and actions that need to be taken after a disaster with the main aim of restoring or improving the living conditions that prevailed pre-disaster to a community. And also aiming to reduce the disaster risk by making necessary adjustments. Recovery would include empowering communities, building national facilities, restoring mechanisms for coping with a disaster, and assessing the vulnerabilities and root causes which makes a society disaster-prone.

Importance of post-disaster recovery preparation

Disasters such as the Japan earthquake on March 11, 2011, with a magnitude of 9, is declared a global catastrophe. The earthquake led to a series of other disasters like tsunami and even created a risk of a nuclear event due to damages made to three nuclear reactors in Japan. Nepal earthquake on April 2015, with a magnitude of 8.1, is yet another worst disaster which triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest and Langtang valley.

Disasters have become frequent due to the effects of global warming and many man-made factors. Year after year, disasters like these strike all over the world, killing a lot of people and causing damages to livelihood and societies. These societies become more vulnerable to outbreaks and many other economic conditions post-disaster.

Preparation for post-disaster recovery, in recent years, has seen much progress with respect to the availability of information, development, and application of tools in risk reduction practices. Despite many advances, there seem to be many gaps in the areas of the needs of victims post-disaster or building capacities or tools to learn about their requirements.

Further, in countries stricken by poverty, disaster recovery or preparation for disaster remains questionable. Poorest countries are affected to a large extent with respect to economic losses and mortality when compared to economically strong countries.

Factors that need to be considered for preparation of post-disaster recovery

  1. Political factors – increasing awareness, developing political commitment and state policies to support post-disaster recovery.
  2. Institutional factors – Building capacities that help in the recovery
  3. Legal or regulatory factors – assessing the current legislation and strengthening the regulatory framework
  4. Planning systems – Designing national, regional and local plans for recovery.
  5. Information system – updating the current information system to provide real-time and accurate data in order to ensure preparedness
  6. Social factors – Educating and training the citizens
  7. Financial factors – allocating funds and developing strategies to support pre and post-disaster requirements.

Read more – the role of voluntary organizers in post-disaster rehabilitation