Disaster Recovery: Experiences from Past Disasters Offer Insights for Effective Collaboration after Catastrophic Events, Report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 3MB]

"In the wake of the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes, coordination and collaboration challenges created obstacles during the government's response and recovery efforts. Because of the many stakeholders involved in recovery, including all levels of government, it is critical to build collaborative relationships. Building on GAO's September 2008 report which provided several key recovery practices from past catastrophic disasters, this report presents examples of how federal, state, and local governments have effectively collaborated in the past. GAO reviewed five catastrophic disasters--the Loma Prieta earthquake (California, 1989), Hurricane Andrew (Florida, 1992), the Northridge earthquake (California, 1994), the Kobe earthquake (Japan, 1995), and the Grand Forks/Red River flood (North Dakota and Minnesota, 1997)--to identify recovery lessons. GAO interviewed officials involved in the recovery from these disasters and experts on disaster recovery. GAO also reviewed relevant legislation, policies, and the disaster recovery literature. […]. GAO recommends the Secretary of Homeland Security direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create a mechanism focused on sharing information and lessons learned regarding disaster recovery, including good collaborative practices. The Department of Homeland Security concurred with our recommendation."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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