Recovery from Disaster: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Recovery from Disaster

1st Edition

By Ian Davis, David Alexander


358 pages | 94 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-09-08
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Disasters can dominate newspaper headlines and fill our TV screens with relief appeals, but the complex long-term challenge of recovery—providing shelter, rebuilding safe dwellings, restoring livelihoods and shattered lives—generally fails to attract the attention of the public and most agencies. On average 650 disasters occur each year. They affect more than 200 million people and cause $166 trillion of damage. Climate change, population growth and urbanisation are likely to intensify further the impact of natural disasters and add to reconstruction needs. Recovery from Disaster explores the field and provides a concise, comprehensive source of knowledge for academics, planners, architects, engineers, construction managers, relief and development officials and reconstruction planners involved with all sectors of recovery, including shelter and rebuilding. With almost 80 years of first-hand experience of disaster recovery between them, Ian Davis (an architect) and David Alexander (a geographer) draw substantially from first-hand experiences in a variety of recovery situations in China, Haiti, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and the USA.

The volume is further enriched by two important and unique features: 21 models of disaster recovery are presented, seven of which were specifically developed for the book. The second feature is a survey of expert opinion about the nature of effective disaster recovery—the first of its kind. More than 50 responses are provided in full, along with an analysis that integrates them with the theories that underpin them. By providing a framework and models for future study and applications, Davis and Alexander seek both to advance the field and to provide a much-needed reference work for decision makers. With a broad perspective derived from the authors' roles held as university professors, researchers, trainers, consultants, NGO directors and advisors to governments and UN agencies, this comprehensive guide will be invaluable for practitioners and students of disaster management.


"Those involved in recovery after disaster are often too busy to document lessons learned and hardly ever able to return later to assess the long-term impact of their projects. To see Ian and David tap into over 40 years of recovery experience to produce truly independent lessons and suggestions for a way forward is extraordinary. Recovery from Disaster provides readers with a wealth of learning from the past and new ways of looking at that through a wide range of models. The book should be of great benefit to those currently involved in post-disaster work." - Theo Schilderman

Table of Contents

Prologue 1. The Dynamics of Recovery: Two Examples 2. The Context of Recovery 3. Models of Recovery: Development and Phases 4. Models of Recovery: Safety and Organisation 5. Recovering From What? The Impact of Disaster 6. Some Key Elements of Recovery 7. Dilemmas in Recovery Management 8. Lessons Relating to Sheltering and Housing 9. Sheltering and housing options 10. Resilient Recovery 11: What makes recovery from disaster successful? A survey of expert opinion 12. (Edward De Bono's) "Thinking Hats" 13. Emerging principles of recovery. Bibliography

Appendix 1. Survey Answers to the Question: What in your view are the most important aspects of a successful recovery operation following a natural disaster?

Appendix 2. Key Books and Websites on Disaster Recovery

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Hazards, Disaster Risk and Climate Change

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / Residential
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief

Sample Chapter

Want to learn more? Enjoy a sneak peek at the Preface and Chapter 3 of this text.