Recovery is the period following a disaster and the community’s early response to that disaster, whereby things return to a new normal. After neighbors move from shock to action, communities organize by implementing plans and structures aimed at bringing help to affected individuals and families in a holistic, integrated process that brings needed resources to the most vulnerable. Recovery following each disaster is unique and may last weeks or years. Disasters are never welcome, but they give communities an opportunity to build back stronger. Often, damages sustained in disaster can be prevented from recurring by implementing a long-term recovery strategy grounded in risk reduction analysis and mitigation.
A long term recovery group (LTRG) is a cooperative body that is made up of representatives from faith-based, nonprofit, government, business and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families as they recover from disaster. LTRGs are as varied in their structure as are the communities in which they work. The personality and operation of each group is unique and reflects local needs, available resources, cultural diversity, leadership style, and community support. No matter how a group is structured or what it calls itself— unmet needs committee, interfaith, organization, coalition, roundtable, partnership, coordinating council, etc.—the goal is the same: to unite recovery resources with community needs in order to ensure that even the most vulnerable in the community recover from disaster.
United Methodists often play a key role in these recovery groups by providing staff, funding, training, volunteers and leadership to this effort. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is recognized across the United States as an important partner in the long term recovery effort. UMCOR has specific expertise in Case Management and is often called on to provide training for all members of the LTRG.
Should a disaster in your area require the establishment of a Long Term Recovery Group, please contact the Conference Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee for guidance and support.