The extent of our nation's preparedness to address large-scale disasters will likely receive renewed attention around the anniversaries of Hurricane Katrina and the attacks of 9/11. This commentary recommends that disaster planning address not only the immediate and short-term responses to disaster, but also the longer-term social service needs of disaster victims, such as mental health services and case management. The Urban Institute's study of the American Red Cross September 11th Recovery Program provides a sense of the need for such services and their value to those affected by disaster. Integrating longer-term recovery services into disaster planning can help ensure their availability in the wake of future disasters.
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