Recovery means the coordinated efforts and processes to bring about the immediate, medium and long term holistic regeneration and enhancement of a community following an emergency.


The recovery process after an impacting emergency is about supporting people to rebuild their lives and restore their emotional, social, economic and physical well-being. It is more than simply building back the infrastructure.

The impact of a natural or man-made emergency event always leaves something to be fixed.  How well we recover from events will depend on how well you have prepared to recover.


Recovery should:

  • Support cultural and physical well-being of individuals and communities
  • Minimise the escalation of the consequences of the disaster
  • Reduce future exposure to hazards and their associate risks – i.e. build resilience
  • Take opportunities to regenerate and enhance communities in ways that will meet future needs.


Preparing your business

Effective recovery requires preparation

To help you understand, prepare, respond to and recover from any emergency there are four key phases that must be considered

Reduction This is where there is a risk or hazard but with forward thinking, planning and implementation these are either mitigated completely or reduced to the best that it can be. 

Developing plans in preparation for an impacting event and includes business continuity planning for the recovery. Resourcing those plans with supplies, equipment, services and then training people or those mostly affected on how those plans will be implemented.

If you are reading this you are in Readiness planning mode.


This is when the impacting event has occurred or is happening and those previously prepared resources and plans, including your business continuity plan, are now put into action.
Psychosocial effects on people are also reduced when there has been a good planning process developed prior to the event and then activated during the response and recovery phase.

It may be a severe impact but people see hope as they now have something tangible (a plan) to work their way through and support their recovery)

History and experience have repeatedly identified that once this response phase has commenced it is too late to start planning for the emergency


Starts at Reduction in the planning stage and looks forward at everything with all the community and stakeholders involved. During the Readiness phase (preparedness) it streamlines from what the environment (all aspects) looks like before the impact, what is likely to change during the impact and what will the important needs be after the event.

It won’t be possible to pluck money out of a bottomless barrel to make the perfect world but it will be possible to have an understanding of what will be necessary in the recovery from an event so that the various views and expectation levels are understood and managed.


Getting started

If you haven’t started or prepared for an emergency at home you can Click Here for information on getting prepared. 

It is important that things are safe and organised at home first before spending time focusing on your business continuity plan and recovery.


Business Continuity Planning

In business it is a must to have an emergency plan to prepare your organisation to get through an impacting emergency event.

It is just as essential to have a business continuity plan, prepared by all those who will be involved or effected by it. This will support and minimise the effect on you, your staff and the organisation be in a much more viable position as you start to come out of the impact and recover from it.

If you have these two plans in place or in preparation you and your team are on the path to being better prepared to recover from an impacting event.


If you haven’t started planning and not sure in which direction to start check out these online resources:

  • How resilient is your business? 
    Resilient Organisations -this website has great resources available.
    You can also access checklists to assess your organisation’s resilience here

  • Business continuity plan template
    A template can be found here or here (DOCX 66 KB)
    When you have selected a template that you think would be best suited to your business, print it off and sit down with your staff and go through it with them to get their input. You may be surprised what comes out of those discussions. Follow the prompts and guides that will help your thinking to find solutions but remember it is your plan so personalise it to your business.



Some other useful links

Waitomo Hazards Matrix (DOCX 40 KB)
This highlights the hazards that may impact our district, their approximate likelihood, the possible consequences that may eventuate (but dependent upon the severity of the impact). This is useful when preparing for what may impact your business or organisation.


The National Disaster Resilience Strategy
released by the New Zealand Government to raise awareness across all communities that we need to be prepared and build in resilience before it is needed.


Waikato Region Recovery Plan

Under the requirements of the Civil Defense Emergency Management Act 2002 the Waikato Region has produced a Recovery Plan that supports pre, during and post emergency recovery components that require councils and communities to plan together.


How private companies can reshape results and plan for a COVID-19 recovery

This highlights four actions an organisation can take now to help in their recovery


The Business Continuity Institute
This site offers other good information to assist your planning process. 



A business continuity plan should be prepared by all of those who will be involved in making it work especially while they are operating under the stressors of that impacting emergency.