Disaster Recovery

By Brenda D. Phillips; Reviewed by Dennis G. Byerly, CPP, CSEM

***** Disaster Recovery. By Brenda D. Phillips; published by Taylor & Francis Group/CRC Press, (Web); 521 pages; $69.95.
In a well-referenced text, author Brenda D. Phillips looks at recovery as an opportunity for the rebirth of an area stricken by disaster. While seasoned practitioners look at mitigation as one of the first goals in recovery, her holistic approach includes environmental quality, quality of life, economic vitality, and social and intergenerational considerations.
Phillips specifically addresses the psychological and social issues that are easily overlooked in routine planning processes for recovery, discussing ways to include them in the plan. She writes that age, relationships, gender, occupation, race, and ethnicity are critical portions of the recovery process that are often overlooked. These concerns can be properly addressed, according to Phil­lips, through a participatory recovery process that closely links the residential and economic sectors.
Citing incidents and statistics from Hurricane Katrina and other notable disasters, Phillips proposes a plan that would link more local agencies with governmental organizations during the recovery planning process. The text further promotes the idea that inclusion of local businesses and volunteer organizations in the recovery planning process will not only strengthen mitigation efforts but will also pay off in the long term with a community that emerges stronger than it was before an incident. The author summarizes the book well by writing that “when we rebuild communities, we must do so in a way that fosters more resilience to future events.”
The textbook-style format, with clearly stated learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter and study-guide discussion questions at the end, provides a first-rate platform for individuals looking for an advanced approach to this subject.
Phillips has put together an excellent summary of the concept of disaster recovery. While this book is not for beginners, professionals and planners interested in looking at the “big picture” would certainly see this book as a valuable resource.

Reviewer: Dennis G. Byerly, CPP, CSEM (Certified Specialist in Emergency Management), is a Community Manager for Monarch Management Group LLC in Palm Desert, California. He is a member of the ASIS Commercial Real Estate Council.



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