Disaster recovery is the process by which a community returns the emotional, social, economic and physical well-being of individuals and the community to their normal state of functioning after an emergency occurs.
Disaster recovery is joint cooperation amongst government agencies, voluntary organizations, and the private sector to provide assistance and support. Initially efforts focus on meeting the immediate needs of those affected for housing, food and water. As homes and businesses are repaired, people return to work and communities continue with cleanup and rebuilding.
The effects of a disaster depend on the type, severity and duration of the event. Common effects include:
- Stress and psychological trauma
- Focus on the short-term, foregoing long-term goals and opportunities
- Delay of programs that serve long-standing social needs
- Gaps in community economic classes tend to widen
- loss of businesses
- loss of jobs
- reduced cash flow within the community
- Damage to buildings, commercial structures, and community facilities
- Alteration of landscape as in landslides and floods
- Environmental contamination from chemicals or pollutants
Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing operates Ontario's Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP), which is intended to help municipalities, individuals, farmers, small business, and non-profit organizations get back on their feet by covering the costs of returning essential items to pre-disaster condition for the people who have suffered damage within designated disaster areas. ODRAP is not intended to be an alternative or a substitute for adequate insurance coverage.
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