Private Business and Disaster Relief: A New Way of Thinking

When dealing with disaster relief, the federal government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), can only go so far. To illustrate this, there are some businesses and individuals still not fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina, which happened more than seven years ago. While it would be nice to think that the government can charge in and save the day when disaster strikes, the truth is, they are only meant to provide initial relief. After the area has been stabilized and everyone is safe and has adequate shelter, they move on to the next big disaster, or at least prepare for it.

That is why the federal government needs to work with private business to help in recovery efforts, according to an article by They are the best way to affect a sense of normalcy, and businesses also know how to best serve the communities in which they operate. As of now, private businesses have little to do with recovery as far as working with government agencies. A good plan of action could involve the government responding to a crisis and helping stabilize the situation, with private businesses moving in afterward and the government handing off recovery efforts to them. These could include local and national retailers and restaurants. This can help establish a sense of normalcy, as area residents can deal with what they know while recovering. The prospect of dealing with bureaucratic red tape that dealing with the government invariably leads to could be lessened.

Another area that the federal government fails in is that they treat everyone the same. In truth, we are all individuals and have individual needs based on our station in life. Dealing with a private company allows goods to be distributed with equity. As long as the basics are provided, then individuals can acquire goods and services according to their needs, tempered by what resources they have access to.

In the long run, individuals affected by a disaster rely on private companies and whatever insurance they might have to help them in their recovery. By allowing private companies to partake in the recovery process at an earlier time, maybe the whole process can be made easier.

For more information about how private businesses could help in disaster situations, visit: