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Flood Recovery in High River: Themes and Directions

The Conference Board of Canada, 57 pages, October 4, 2015
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This review identifies themes and directions for consideration and further study as well as individual lessons and ideas from High River’s experience resulting from the 2013 Southern Alberta floods.

Document Highlights

In September 2014, the Town of High River asked The Conference Board of Canada to conduct a review of its recovery and resilience-building efforts following the 2013 Southern Alberta floods. Flood Recovery in High River: Themes and Directions identifies themes and directions for consideration and further study as well as individual lessons and ideas from High River’s experience that will be of interest to others.

The review relies to a large degree on information from 31 phone interviews that were conducted with key individuals as identified by the Town of High River and a one-day visit to High River that included a tour of the affected area with the deputy fire chief and a follow-up interview with select interviewees.

Recommendations for further study relate to building a recovery operation, integrating and coordinating response and early recovery objectives, and enabling local recovery support functions.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Scope
  • Methodology
  • Results

Chapter 2—The Recovery Context (July 2013 to October 2014)

Chapter 3—Recovery Readiness

  • Five Priorities for Action to Reduce Disaster Risk

Chapter 4—The Recovery Organization

  • The TOHR’s Approach
  • Recovery Leaders
  • Augmented Staff
  • Local Resources
  • Planning a Recovery Organization

Chapter 5—Leading and Making Decisions

  • Empowered to Take Responsibility
  • Taking Care of Staff
  • Leading Collaboration
  • Spending Decisions

Chapter 6—Communication

  • Public Affairs
  • Public Support
  • New Image

Chapter 7—Psychosocial Support

  • Recovery Takes Time
  • Stressors and the “Bureaucracy of Disaster”
  • Well-Being of TOHR Staff
  • Panoply of Psychosocial Support Services
  • Psychological First Aid

Chapter 8—Business Recovery

  • The Temporary Business Park
  • Role of Government in Business Recovery
  • Contract Award for Recovery Work
  • Needs of Business Owners
  • Business Recovery and Economic Development Expertise

Chapter 9—Conclusion

  • Physical Recovery
  • Organizational Recovery
  • Psychological Recovery
  • Economic Recovery

Appendix A—Bibliography

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