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National Recovery Guidance

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The National Recovery Guidance has been produced by the National Recovery Working Group over a period of nine months, as commissioned by TIDO(Prepare). The guidance aims to provide a single point of reference to local responders dealing with the recovery phase of an emergency.


The National Recovery Guidance has been developed in line with the following Civil Contingencies Act definitions.


An event or situation that threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK or the environment of a place in the UK, or war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK. To constitute an emergency, an event or situation must additionally require the implementation of special arrangements by one or more Category 1 responder. (Emergency Response and Recovery)


Response encompasses the actions taken to deal with the immediate effects of an emergency. In many scenarios, it is likely to be relatively short and to last for a matter of hours or days – rapid implementation of arrangements for collaboration, co-ordination and communication are, therefore, vital. Response encompasses the effort to deal not only with the direct effects of the emergency itself (eg. fighting fires, rescuing individuals) but also the indirect effects (eg. disruption, media interest). (Emergency Response and Recovery)


The process of rebuilding, restoring and rehabilitating the community following an emergency. (Emergency Response and Recovery)

Definitions of other terms used in the guidance can be found in the Glossary.

Format of the guidance

The guidance consists of:

Links to these pages can also be found in the site navigation on the left-hand side of every page.

Recent experience

During the period in which the National Recovery Guidance has been produced, there have been a number of emergencies that have involved extensive recovery operations and deepened our understanding of the topic. In particular, there will be lessons identified from the summer 2007 flooding.

Following on from the findings of the Pitt Review, due to be completed in Spring 2008, we hope to include case studies and learning arising from these recent events.


On publication, the information included in the guidance is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge, but if you spot something you believe to be an error, please contact Kathy Settle (, Chair of the National Recovery Working Group.

The National Recovery Guidance will be periodically reviewed – once every three months – and updated as necessary. Additional case studies will be added as and when they are produced.

If there are any issues that you would like to be included in the guidance, or if you think that you could provide a relevant recovery case study, please email Kathy Settle (

Background to the National Recovery Working Group

Following a number of incidents, it became apparent that local responders needed more comprehensive guidance to support them in dealing with the recovery stage of emergencies. TIDO(Prepare), at its meeting on 6 November 2006, therefore agreed that the National Recovery Working Group (NRWG) should be established to take forward work to prepare such material.

The objectives of the Group included:

The review of Emergency Response and Recovery has been scheduled to start after publication of this Guidance in order to incorporate its findings.


Core Membership

Recovery is by nature a cross-cutting subject.  As a result, a wide range of Government Departments and Agencies were represented on the Group. In addition, the Group required representation from a wide range of other organisations who would have a role to play in the recovery phase of any emergency.  For a full list of organisations involved in the National Recovery Working Group, please see Acknowledgements.

Wider Stakeholders

The Group also obtained contributions from wider stakeholders, including those organisations who had been involved in the recovery stages of recent incidents. This input was sought through a number of methods, including consultations using the Cabinet Office Local Response Gateway, presentations and workshops at various conferences (including the Emergency Planning Society annual conference), the Community Recovery course at the Emergency Planning College, and five dedicated stakeholder events in England and the Devolved Administrations.

Chair and Secretariat

Kathy Settle, Deputy Director - Local Response Capability, Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Cabinet Office, chaired the group.  Contact details are:

Tel: 0207 276 1361

Rhiannon Harries, Regional Resilience and Emergency Response Division, Communities and Local Government provided secretariat support.


The Group has been time-limited and completed its tasks within nine months of the first meeting.


The guidance has been made as comprehensive as possible, commensurate with the time-limited nature of the Group. In the longer term, the website will be updated to disseminate further guidance and case studies as they occur.


The Chair and Secretariat of the National Recovery Working Group would like to recognise the invaluable contributions made by staff from the following organisations who participated in the Group:

The National Recovery Working Group would also like to thank the following organisations for assisting in the production of case studies and the Recovery Plan Guidance Template:

Furthermore, the National Recovery Working Group wishes to thank all stakeholders who responded to consultations and took part in the August 2007 stakeholder workshops. The breadth of experience and knowledge this offered to the group was invaluable throughout the production of the guidance and case studies.