Friday, December 13, 2013

The Red Guide to Recovery by Sean Scott

Disaster recovery grows in importance every year.   Access to information by victims and those who care for them is more important than ever.  The Red Guide to Recovery is a primer, a "book of proverbs" if you will,  to address the need. 

The Red Guide to Recovery
I bought it because it was marketed to the fire service and it is of value, especially in a large scale event.  However, it would be a better course to homeowners than a fire ground resource.  As a small town pastor and fire chaplain, I do very little follow up with survivors and almost no community education. An Emergency Manager might be a better target.

 I spent several years working hurricanes and much of this is old hat.  Those in the fire service could easily assume that everyone knows these things.  Folks that have not been through a disaster need this good and basic stuff.   For example-DON'T run a generator inside the house and DON'T turn off the breakers while standing in a puddle.  People die every disaster over these types of things.
This is a multi media resource and does a good, comprehensive job with an extremely broad subject.  Anchored in a book, e-book and app, the author links back to his website, . This information changes with the whims of the many resources and the site can change where the book cannot.

As it is self published and self marketed by the author, Sean Scott, the book can also be customized for a specific community with local QR's and local resources.  The app could be easily revised later but the hard copy could be obsolete pretty quickly.   This is would make an excellent mitigation/preparation class and supported with the author's "Free Tools" from the website. 

The Red Guide is more focused with larger disasters more than a local house fire but the subjects are relevant to both.  Half of the book is dedicated to handling contractors and insurance issues.  Much is a guide through the tangle of the FEMA web materials which the author does well.  The author does an excellent job of dealing with  disaster scams and pets. Chapter 13, Trauma Intervention and Grief Counseling, is well done, especially with children's issues but does not address the role of faith in recovery. 

The Red Guide is not quite a text book but more than just a field guide.  It is well organized, clearly written but not something you look through on the fire ground. The forward is a more thorough overview than most books like this and each chapter begins with learning goals in bullet point-this makes it easier to navigate. 

Any responder or survivor who reads this will be better equipped for the disaster at hand. I recommend it as an addition to all stress/emotional first aid resources.  Once the situation is calmed, this guide gives you a confident next step.