What Communities Can Do

Disasters provide an opportunity to strengthen the capacity and resilience of communities to recover but only by ensuring all parts of the community can benefit. Community involvement is key to effective recovery.

Community Participation before an event

  • Learn about preparedness efforts individuals can take.
  • Learn about the preparedness resources Emergency Management has available to help families, neighborhoods, and businesses.
  • Become involved in your neighborhood or community group and encourage collaboration with Emergency Management and other organizations who participate in recovery and response.
  • Get involved in community consultation in the planning process.
  • Help identify vulnerabilities within the community and work with Emergency Management to make sure those gaps are represented.

Identify Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability relates to the characteristics of a person or group in terms of their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a hazard. Some groups in society are more prone than others to damage, loss and suffering in the context of hazards. Such groups may be characterized by class, ethnicity, gender, disability, or age.

Community Participation during the recovery process

Community involvement in the decision-making process following a disaster is essential. One of the key concepts of recovery management is of community acceptability and participation in the recovery process. The need for community involvement is an important means of contributing to the overall empowerment of individuals and communities to manage their own recovery.

Processes of community involvement will vary and depend on the nature of the task, the type and impact of the disaster and the affected community. Some of the most effective means of consultation in disaster recovery situations include public meetings, community representation on committees, and the inclusion of representatives from community organizations in decision making processes. It is also essential that the affected community is provided adequate opportunities to debate and review major issues.