Lives lost, homes destroyed, businesses shuttered, family and community life disrupted – this is a scene no government leader hopes to face. And yet, with the rise of ‘once in a hundred years’ disasters, we can no longer say, ‘Nobody could have predicted,’ when confronted with cataclysmic events. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe, with enormous human and economic impacts.
According to the International Monetary Fund, estimated annual damages from natural disasters rose from an average of $20 billion in the 1990s to $100 billion in the first decade of the millennium – a fivefold increase. As a result of climate change and greater population density in areas at risk of natural disasters, this trend is likely to continue.
Guidehouse has designed a framework for dealing with disaster that divides the lifecycle of the recovery process into four distinct phases. This framework can be applied by any state or local disaster recovery office, whether an independent office or department within a government agency.