Disaster recovery


Stephen Platt
[email protected]
tel: 01223 460475

CAR has 25 years experience of monitoring, evaluating and advising on recovery after major disasters, ranging from formulating civil protection plans, producing design guidelines for building repair and reconstruction, urban regeneration plans, and advising on conservation of architectural and cultural heritage.

Specifically, we have been conducting a series of field surveys and case studies aimed at measuring the speed and quality of the key aspects of recovery, including access and communications, permanent housing, the local economy, employment and infrastructure.

To date we have conducted eleven case studies of major earthquakes and seven case studies of storms and floods. Fourteen of these studies involved field trips and surveys of both survivors and experts in the affected region and country in question.

One of the key findings is that decisions made, and actions taken in the immediate aftermath of a disaster have a profound impact on the long term recovery and reconstruction of the affected settlements and the communities which inhabit them. Natural disasters, while a tragedy for the stricken communities, also present a 'window of opportunity' to build back better.

In general, countries with centralised autocratic governments recover more quickly, but the quality of recovery, in terms of greater safety, better economy and improved housing, is better where local communities are involved in decision-making.

CAR's expertise in measuring the speed and quality of disaster recovery and in analysing the underlying causal factors in recovery is of interest to national and regional governments in hazard-prone countries, to disaster management professionals, to insurers and reinsurers and to international aid organistions and funders.


Earthquake recovery case studies

Northridge, USA 1994
Bam, Iran 2003 (survey 2014)
Indian Ocean 2004 (survey 2009)
Kashmir, Pakistan 2005 (survey 2006)
Wenchuan, China 2008 (survey 2012)
L'Aquila, Italy 2009 (survey 2012)
Maule, Chile 2010 (survey 2011)
Christchurch, NZ 2011 (survey 2012)
Tohoku, Japan 2011 (survey 2013)
Van, Turkey 2011 (survey 2012, 2013)
Nepal, Gorkha 2015 (survey 2018)


Storm and flood recovery case studies

Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan 2003 (survey 2018)
Bangladesh floods 2004
USA Hurricane Katrina 2005
UK Cyclone Kyril floods 2007 (survey 2018)
USA Hurricane Sandy 2012
Germany Cyclone Xavier floods 2013 (survey 2018)
Vietnam Typhoon Haiyan 2017 (survey 2018)

PDF icon Disaster Recovery Flier.pdf1.79 MB