Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Disaster Recovery Case Management Definition


Individuals and families who receive Disaster Recovery Case Management services access and use resources and support that build on their strengths and meet their service needs.


Disaster Recovery Case Management services are designed to stabilize the living conditions of service recipients who are victims of disaster, the goal being to re-establish their pre-disaster status to the greatest extent possible. It involves fundamental case management practices such as planning, securing, coordinating, monitoring, and advocating for unified service goals with organizations, and personnel working in close partnership with individuals and families served. Disaster Recovery Case Management services also include practices that are unique to service delivery in the aftermath of natural disasters, incidents of mass violence, and other major public emergencies. These services are delivered under difficult environmental conditions that typically result in loss of physical and technological infrastructure, disruption of operations, and other substantial communication, record keeping, coordination, and efficiency challenges. Distinct service delivery challenges are associated with the influx and simultaneous deployment of local, regional, state and federal assistance. Services may be delivered within, or separate from, a multi-service organization.


This standard is unique in that it is only deployed in the aftermath of a disaster. Unlike other programs which may be operational for years, disaster recovery case management programs come into existence in response to a specific disaster and tend to be time limited, closing upon the community’s recovery or when disaster specific resources have been exhausted. In light of the uniqueness of this service delivery model COA may be assesing an organization’s capacity to efficiently and effectively respond when a disaster does strike. It is to the benefit of the organization, the clients, and the community for the organization to be well prepared to deploy case managers in disaster circumstances. Preparation is key to an effective and efficient response that maximizes resources and can move people to recovery as soon as possible.


Although primary or short-term disaster case management is focused on emergency relief such as food, clothing, shelter, and information and referral, organizations should provide or coordinate services to address long-term recovery needs as well.
2020 Edition



Note: Please see DRCM Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.