With communities like Fair Bluff, Goldsboro, Greenville and Rocky Mount, NC now experiencing the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, local, state, and federal government are working together in the recovery process. In this very stage, it's more important than ever that the local government manager play a key role in launching a visioning process for a rebuilt, safer community, and involving the public in that process. Understanding the ins and outs of recovery planning is critical to the future and successes of the community. Here are six perspectives to get you thinking.

Recovery Takes Effective Leadership

“Most agree that the key factor in successful long-term recovery is local leadership. A clear vision, a well-defined plan, broad and diverse funding to finance the recovery, a supportive and involved business community, and effective partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels all contribute to successful long-term recovery. The biggest difference, however, is effective leadership.” -- Christine Becker, Disaster Recovery: A Local Government Responsibility

Don’t Overpromise

“There’s a big push to do something now. But if you don’t have a good plan and you can’t get the resources, you’re setting up people for more disappointment. Overpromising can be fatal in long-term recovery.” -- Jim Prosser, city manager, Disaster Recovery: A Local Government Responsibility

Stay in Constant Contact

“Constant information and community connections are vital. Even when there’s no real news, having some news is important to assure a tired community that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” -- Christine Becker, Disaster Recovery: A Local Government Responsibility

Get Your Priorities Straight

“Recovery cannot succeed if the aims, priorities, and processes do not have community support; this can require considerable community participation both pre and post event in the short, medium, and long-term), which includes building relationships with groups within local authority areas. It is important therefore to recognize the diverse needs of different communities such as those within a rural or urban context, high or low socio-economic groups and the implications of differing cultural diversity and belief systems.” -- Sarah Norman, Focus on Recovery: Holistic Framework for Recovery

After all is said and done, Create an Even Better Community

“The emphasis of recovery planning is shifting away from recreating damaged places to creating communities that are better (in the sense of being more sustainable) than the ones that preceded them. This goal involves researchers, managers and public policy makers in the difficult art of anticipating the future and the circumstances that will govern public policies for years and decades to come.” -- James K. Mitchell, Reconceiving Recovery: Research Based Observations on What It Means

Don’t Forget the Economic Impact

“Economic recovery from disaster is about the resilience of local economies, but . . . it is also about scale in space and time, the magnitude and distribution of the losses and benefits flowing from the disaster, the impacts on assets and on flows of goods and services, adoption of new technologies, marketing of recovery and shifts in local power. . . . Is the aim of economic recovery simply to restore the pre-disaster state? Or should disasters be embraced as opportunities to make local economies more resilient?”-- John Handmer and Marnie Hillman, Economic and Financial Recovery from Disaster

To gain a practical understanding of crisis communications and community engagement, participate in ICMA's new online certificate program, local government 201.

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