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OTHER ITA SITES:
Introduction To Disaster Recovery For Home And Business Locations
Disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. Recovering from disasters can be a major task, especially if not handled properly. Chaos and confusion generally rule the day. The need for organization is critical and everyone wants to return to some semblance of "normal" life. It doesn�t matter whether it is a small, local disaster or a major, national scale event. The goal is the same; get back to some form of normalcy as quickly as possible.
Disasters do not need to be major in scale to disrupt daily life. A fire is a disaster that may affect only one family. A tornado may impact one town. These are still disasters by definition and a period of recovery must take place. Usually, the recovery effort for small-scale disasters is local in nature. Volunteer organizations such as Red Cross and the Salvation Army will often help with local disaster recovery efforts. Religious and other community-based groups will usually step in and also help with these efforts. Much of the recovery work falls on the shoulders of the victims and their immediate friends and families. The individual insurances are often the sole financial help.
Larger disasters, on the state and regional levels, usually involve several agencies that assist with the recovery efforts. Local, state, and many times, federal, agencies all have a hand in the clean up and recovery. Resources may be made available to assist individuals and businesses with their recovery. Federal money can be requested in larger disasters. Shelters and alternative housing are often set up to help those displaced from their homes.
Local and state agencies have plans in place to minimize damage and loss of services from a disaster, no matter what scale. Part of that plan includes beginning disaster recovery efforts as soon as possible. Delays in recovery work can lead to additional destruction. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf States, the recovery effort was started as quickly as possible. However, due to the immense scale of the disaster, many areas could not be reached immediately and many homes and businesses had to be torn down due to the growth of dangerous molds and bacteria. The sooner recovery work can begin the better chance that homes and businesses can be saved.
Individuals involved in a disaster, whether local or large-scale, must rely on their insurance to cover the major costs of repair or rebuilding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the federal government are not insurance programs for individuals. In larger emergencies they may help out by bringing the Small Business Administration�s (SBA) loan programs into play. This allows individuals to secure low or no-interest loans to help with repairs.
Small businesses are often treated as individuals in disaster recovery. The SBA offers loans to help rebuild the business and get operations moving again. Other loans and grants may be available, depending on the scale of the disaster and programs involved. The individual state may offer low and no interest loans and grants as well. The goal of these programs is to get businesses back up and running as quickly as possible to serve the communities and help workers get back to their wage earning positions. This helps individuals in their recovery efforts as well.
Governmental agencies and services will receive the bulk of federal monies. They are tasked with serving the community throughout and after the disaster. They are often without necessary equipment or supplies and this must be taken care of quickly to ensure continued operations. Federal money may also be channeled through local governments in the form of grants and federal assistance programs. This money may directly, and indirectly, benefit the individual citizen.
There are many companies that specialize in disaster recovery plans for businesses either consulting or the actual disaster recovery work. They help companies develop plans for safeguarding important data and information during a disaster. They also work with companies after a disaster to recover and get back on their feet. Any disaster can cause the loss of valuable information, hardware and software for a business. This must be recovered in order to continue operations as before. Sometimes it can be saved and reused; often it must be repaired or replaced.
The main goal of disaster recovery is to get individuals and businesses back on their feet and back to normal as quickly as possible. The transition will never be smooth, but it should be well planned and organized. Many outside organizations may be available to help out, although it is important for the individual citizen or business to have a plan in place for recovering from a disaster. This should include adequate insurance to cover losses and a plan for operations during the recovery effort. Recovery of important data for a business may require assistance from an outside company that specializes in disaster recovery. The most important aspect of disaster recovery is having a plan in place before disaster strikes.
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