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European Definitions

Other International Definitions


The restoration, and improvement where appropriate, of facilities, livelihoods and living conditions of disaster-affected communities, including efforts to reduce disaster risk factors [1].

According to UNISDR, the recovery task of rehabilitation and reconstruction begins soon after the emergency phase has ended, and should be based on pre-existing strategies and policies that facilitate clear institutional responsibilities for recovery action and enable public participation. Recovery programmes, coupled with the heightened public awareness and engagement after a disaster, afford a valuable opportunity to develop and implement disaster risk reduction measures and to apply the “build back better” principle.

National Definitions


Recovery is the coordinated process of supporting emergency-affected communities in reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, social, economic and physical wellbeing. [2]

Recovery are measures which support emergency-affected individuals and communities in the reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, economic and physical well-being. [2]

Actions taken following the commencement of a disruptive event to return the organization to routine management. [3]

New Zealand

Recovery is one of the ‘4 Rs’ of Emergency Management: Recovery means the coordinated efforts and processes used to bring about the immediate, medium-term, and long-term holistic regeneration of a community following an emergency. [4]

United Kingdom (UK)

Recovery is the process of rebuilding, restoring and rehabilitating the community, both physically and socially, following an emergency. [5]

United States

Presidential Policy Directive PPD-8
Recovery is those capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident to recover effectively, including, but not limited to, rebuilding infrastructure systems; providing adequate interim and long-term housing for survivors; restoring health, social, and community services; promoting economic development; and restoring natural and cultural resources. [6]
Recovery is the development, coordination, and execution of service- and site-restoration plans; the reconstitution of government operations and services; individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public assistance programs to provide housing and to promote restoration; long-term care and treatment of affected persons; additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration; evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned; postincident reporting; and development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents. [7]
Recover (function) is to develop and implement the appropriate activities to maintain plans for resilience and to restore any capabilities or services that were impaired due to a Cyber Security event. [8]

Other Definitions

Ontario (Canada)

Recovery is the process of restoring a stricken community to a pre-disaster level of functioning. [9]

This may include the provision of financial assistance, repairing buildings and/or restoration of the environment.

Rétablissement: processus visant à ramener une collectivité sinistrée aux conditions normales d’avant la situation d’urgence. [9]

Ce processus peut inclure la fourniture d’une assistance financière, la réparation de bâtiments ou la restauration de l’environnement.

Standard Definition

ISO 22300:2012(en)

restoration and improvement, where appropriate, of operations, facilities, livelihoods or living conditions of affected organizations, including efforts to reduce risk factors.[10]

See also