Recovery Exercising Toolkit

About the Toolkit

In recent years cascading and compounding disasters across Australia have often left communities with little or no time to recover before the next disaster hits. Multiple and overlapping disasters with compounding impacts can place communities in a state of constant and complex recovery. The increasing frequency of disasters and more complex and protracted recoveries means that planning and exercising for recovery is more important than ever.

Recovery exercises provide the opportunity for a dedicated focus on recovery that goes beyond immediate relief and early recovery and allows for an in-depth exploration of recovery issues over time. The Recovery Exercising Toolkit contains evidence-based guidance and specialised resources, templates and slides. The design and conduct of recovery exercises is based on the nationally recognised exercise management methodology, outlined in the Managing Exercises Handbook (AIDR under revision). The Toolkit can be used to support exercise management programs to include a recovery exercise component whenever exercises are conducted.

The stand-alone modules in the Toolkit can also be used outside of an exercise activity and incorporated into workshops or training sessions and as a ‘just in time’ training resource to support Recovery Committees that are established after a disaster.

The Recovery Exercise Toolkit was developed by the National Emergency Management Agency and the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR). The Toolkit complements the Managing Exercises (AIDR Under Review) and Community Recovery (AIDR 2018) Handbooks. 

Toolkit Companion document

The Toolkit Companion introduces the Toolkit and provides a guided pathway for exercise planners to follow in the development and facilitation of a recovery exercise. The document includes an overview of the recovery modules and also an Exercise Facilitator Guide and accompanying slide deck.

Download the Toolkit Companion (PDF 791KB)

Download the Facilitator Guide (PDF DOC 105KB)

Download the Facilitator Slide Deck (1.57MB)

The Recovery Exercise Toolkit includes the following modules: 

The Toolkit contains a suite of Modules that focus on a range of recovery considerations that have been identified as important recovery issues through lessons from recent disasters and evidence-based research. The Modules contain foundational concepts and links to helpful resources to provide a base level of understanding that will equip participants to undertake further recovery planning and action. Each module has been developed with the guidance of a subject matter expert and informed by evidence-based research and practice.


  • Fundamentals of Community Recovery 
  • Recovery Considerations Over Time 
  • Coordinating Recovery Support for People with Disability 
  • Working with Indigenous communities in Recovery
  • Foundations of Economic Recovery

Each module contains:

  • Module Overview
  • Slide Deck presentation
  • Video by a subject matter expert