The six phases of community recovery from an unexpected fire

Following the scrub fire in Evergreen Crescent, Upper Hutt, the National Community Readiness and Recovery team partnered with the Wellington District Community Risk Management team to produce a research report into the impacts the fire has had on communities.

The report provides insight into the journey communities go through during large events. Focusing on their emotional response to the fire before, during and after the event.

“This research has been really beneficial for us to help understand how we can start the recovery process as soon as we get boots on the ground,” says Phil Soal, Community Risk Manager, Wellington District.

“The biggest takeaway for us has been communication,” explains Phil. “The report shows that we need to communicate more with communities during events, to help them feel assured that we have everything under control.”

For the National Community Readiness and Recovery team, this report is the first step in developing Fire and Emergency’s approach to recovery.

Principal Advisor Recovery, Michelle Griffiths, says the findings provide us with an insight into how we can better support communities during recovery, but admits it’s not the silver bullet for Fire and Emergency’s recovery approach.

“For us, this report has really helped progress our thinking on Fire and Emergency’s role in recovery. However, we know that this is only a snapshot of one community’s experience and will need to be supplemented more work in this space by looking at research, learning from other events and engaging with our people and stakeholders,” says Michelle.

Over the coming weeks, the two teams involved in this project will be sharing its finding with operational staff and stakeholders involved in the recovery from the fire.

If you want to learn more about the report, or have an event you think would be interesting look into, please contact Michelle Griffiths:

Read the full report here


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