It's very likely that unless you have been part of recovery from a disaster you would know what this term means and you may even be so savvy to know what the acronym represents – Long Term Recovery Group. It can also take the form of a Committee (LTRC). But most people have no idea how recovery works or how it's supposed to work, but it is an essential organization for a community to return to a ‘new normal’ following a disaster.
First off, as the name suggests, it's LONG. There is no magic formula to figure out how long recovery will take a community, believe me we asked for it many times, but when your neighbors are living in unsafe conditions or are in a continual downward spiral because they just need to be home, you begin to ask yourself how long is this going to take?? Let’s get this show on the road.
Most of the time, an LTRG forms around the time the community's basic infrastructure has been restored. This group can take many shapes according to the resources available and who decides to come to the table.
Usually community members and people from non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), businesses and faith-based organizations begin to meet and answer and address the most pressing issues facing the community.
The LTRG’s most basic functionality is to organize and take care of the needs of the community. Once a team comes together, they can begin to answer some of the questions;
• Who are the volunteer organizations helping or who can we ask to help?
• Who in our community is struggling?
• What resources do we have available including funding and most importantly….
• How are we going to get our community back?
These are all questions that lead to the formation of the LTRG, a group of people who are from different backgrounds, who have the best intentions to put aside egos and help their community. This team will likely experience challenges along the way, but they will;
Find the money to make it happen
Identify the people power to get it done
Find the materials to build back lives
Act as the clearinghouse for the organizations who want to help
When this groups begins to come together, our team members are available to help fit the pieces together and provide perspective on what the road looks like ahead. Having someone there to provide guidance and give emotional support, helps to boost community leader's confidence and belief that they will make it through recovery.