Book for Leaders in ‘Disaster Recovery’ Launched


New Zealand Red Cross is part of the International Federation of Red Cross; the largest humanitarian network in the world, has launched a book for leaders working in disaster recovery.

Elisabeth McNaughton, Red Cross Strategy and Government Relations Manager, who co-authored the book, says its motivation came from working during the Canterbury earthquakes.

Leading while in a disaster recovery is relentless, workloads are enormous, exhaustion sets in, you are making decisions constantly between competing priorities all while trying to imagine the future in a rapidly changing environment – and this continues for years.”

More than 100 people were interviewed from New Zealand and around the world by a Stanford University researcher and the New Zealand Red Cross. The leaders they spoke to had worked during the Haiti earthquake, Japanese Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Australian Bushfires.

The companion shares the leaders’ hard-worn wisdom, practical strategies and tools for people who find themselves in any sort of disaster.

The book is already in use by Red Cross teams in Vanuatu, following Tropical Cyclone Pam and in Nepal after the latest devastating earthquake.

Leaders who shared their experiences with us found it very meaningful; and people who have used the book say they find relief when they are connected to other leaders who really “get it”.The book will be there companion through the chaos that is a disaster. It is what we wished for when starting out on the recovery of Christchurch,” Ms McNaughton says.

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