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How communities recover from disasters

Thursday, February 14, 2008
How communities recover from disasters

Community response and recovery from disasters is the subject of a presentation at Massey’s Wellington campus tomorrow as the final instalment of the week-long Emergency Management Summer Institute hosted by Joint Centre for Disaster Research - School of Psychology and GNS Science.

Case studies will examine both New Zealand and overseas disasters, including recovery from the 1995-1996 Ruapehu eruptions, 1998 Ohura floods, 2005 Matata landslide, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The course will examine evacuation, welfare and a range of longer-term community recovery issues.

The presentation explores how effective survival and recovery from disasters depends not just on physical impacts of the event but also on how the social environment supports the complex and protracted processes of recovery. It suggests that community recovery from disasters can be greatly enhanced by ensuring that the existing social environment supports the recovery process. Effective engagement within the community must take place to determine needs for physical, social and psychological needs.

The Summer Institute is held in the Executive Suite Block 5 at Wellington Campus and was developed to provide a theoretical and practical introduction to selected topics relating to emergency management.

The course is designed for those involved in all aspects of emergency management: planners, educators, engineers, local and central government policy makers, insurance managers, emergency managers and business, utility and property owners.


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