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Organisational Recovery — when's the right time and

what to think about

“What do we want when this is over and how do we get there?”

Sitting in a flood-washed pub in Central Victoria, Mary* told me that her husband was hiding in the cool-room vault and wouldn’t come out. Her husband had been at the forefront of responding to the disaster, a real community leader: directing sandbagging, housing refuges and the emergency support services. Three months later and he had become a hermit and would not come out to say hi, even to his friends. The recovery process is long and has many pitfalls, but it does follow a predictable path.

Organisations can learn a lot from the Emergency Management experience!

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What I was starting with that small group in a pub in country Victoria was a conversation about what the recovery of their community would look like. Like many of us, people were still dealing with urgent issues of housing and finances, loss, grief and social dislocation, but this small group were ready to start looking at what they wanted their town to evolve into, and how they were going to guide that process. They started to take charge.

I invite you to start that process also. And to start it NOW!

As an awesome executive from a regional water corporation put it to me this morning:

“Our priorities in a time like this are a lot clearer as the rest of the “other stuff” that fills our days has really fallen away with no real impact on what we deliver for our customers, community and the environment. I’m a huge fan of being well planned and prepared and for me those who turn their minds the quickest and start the process will come out the end other end much quicker and smoothly.”

*not her real name

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