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Post-disaster recovery is a marathon, not a sprint

Volume 24, Issue 1

July, 2018

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Gearing, A. (2018). Post-disaster recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 24(1), 52-68.
The need for a state-sponsored recovery scheme
Author(s): Amanda Gearing
Publication date: 
July, 2018

This study explores the recovery experiences of survivors of a flash flood event, five years after a natural disaster in South East Queensland. In-depth interviews were conducted with 33 of the original cohort of 120 post-disaster interviewees who experienced sudden traumatic bereavement and/or their own near-death experience. The data reveals that many of the survivors and rescuers were in worse—or far worse—situations than they had been in the weeks and months immediately after the disaster. Interviewees identified the worsening of their situation as being caused by systems failures by civil authorities, health care systems, welfare programmes and the insurance industry. Further research is recommended to assess the needs of people affected by natural disasters and the viability of a state-funded recovery scheme that could expedite personal, family and community recovery. The proposed scheme is based on the Queensland WorkCover scheme that scaffolds recovery and return to work for injured workers.