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Staying Focused in Disaster Recovery

In the midst of a calamity, it is easy to get tossed about. I have seen this in disaster recovery.

Whether I am working with a group on an overseas project or amidst a local disaster, I advise people to begin locally and to define their purpose. Once they have successfully met local needs, they can venture out to state, federal, and worldwide needs.

Rebuilding is the ultimate goal after a disaster. Establishing the goal and learning who is responsible for making it happen, will help a recovering community to stay focused.

Distractions from local issues occur when communities, or their local government, focus on outside problems before local issues have been resolved. Although concerns on a state and national level are problematic, if those issues do not directly hinder rebuilding, then the priority needs to stay on equipping residents with the necessary tools (permits and other resources) so they can rebuild in a timely manner without sacrificing their well-being.

Like with all things, the primary goal sometimes takes a backseat. The reasons are understandable. They are the same reasons people derail from their personal goals: 1. The roots of procrastination: The task is daunting. We doubt that we have what it takes to accomplish it. 2. Scapegoating: It is easier to single out an outside issue versus the local task. 3. Change is hard: We either don’t believe change is needed or we are in denial.

Locally we can help CZU fire victims reach their goal to rebuild. Learning what they need to get past the obstacles that hinder their rebuild is a great start.

Let’s stay focused and bring people back to their community!

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