10.1 Phases of a disaster
The emergency relief phase is the period immediately following the occurrence of a sudden disaster (or the late discovery of a neglected/deteriorated slow-onset situation) when exceptional measures have to be taken to search and find the survivors, as well as meet their basic survival needs for shelter, water, food and medical care.
Rehabilitation is the phase that follows a disaster with a view to restore the affected community to its former living conditions, while adjusting to the changes caused by the disaster.
Reconstruction refers to the actions that re-establish a community after the rehabilitation period. Actions include construction of permanent housing, full restoration of services and a return to the pre-disaster state.
Mitigation encompasses all pre-disaster measures, including preparedness and long-term risk reduction measures.
Preparedness consists of activities designed to minimise loss of life and damage, organise the temporary removal of people and property from a threatened location, and facilitate timely and effective rescue, relief and rehabilitation.
Source: UNDP training module: An overview of disaster management.