New Book Helps Communities Handle Disaster Recovery

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a nonprofit risk management training and educational organization, is publishing "Holistic Disaster Recovery: Ideas for Building Local Sustainability after a Natural Disaster," which features a special emphasis on the recovery following Hurricane Katrina.

"In the aftermath of a natural disaster, there's a tendency to want to quickly rebuild and in doing so, decision makers often fail to address many of the ways in which a community is affected by a large scale disaster," explained Gerard J. Hoetmer, executive director of PERI. "This handbook lays out a comprehensive approach for effective, long-term recovery using the principles of sustainability."

In partnership with the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, PERI promotes the concept of sustainability as the ultimate goal in any recovery effort. Holistic Disaster Recovery encourages readers to incorporate as many of the principles of sustainability as possible into the recovery process, including economic vitality, environmental quality, social equity, quality of life, citizen participation and disaster resiliency.

Originally created in 2001, Holistic Disaster Recovery was developed for local government staff and officials, state planners, activists, emergency management professionals, disaster recovery experts, mitigation specialists and others involved in helping affected communities recover.

The 2006 edition has been streamlined for ease of use by those managing the recovery decisions and features updated sources of information and recent recovery case studies. "Holistic Disaster Recovery: Ideas for Building Local Sustainability after a Natural Disaster" is available in PERI's online bookstore at

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