Recovery activities are designed to restore public infrastructure and facilities, and to assist families with securing safe and secure housing. A recovery plan begins with a thorough assessment of damages to facilities, infrastructure, homes, businesses, and agriculture. When the SERT (State Emergency Response Team) is activated, state agencies are simultaneously activated to begin developing and implementing a recovery plan. The Recovery Team is composed of representatives of state, local and federal agencies as well as such organizations as the Mennonites, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and church groups who coordinate disaster relief and recovery activities. n this way, prompt assistance can be provided following a disaster or emergency.
When disaster recovery is beyond the capability of local governments and communities, the Governor may use the full resources of the state to support recovery operations. When the disaster is beyond the capability of both the local and state government, the Governor may request the President to declare the event a "Major Disaster." This designation authorizes federal financial assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts. The federal assistance programs are designed to assist disaster victims begin personal recovery through disaster housing grants and individual assistance in the form of grants and loans, and to assist government agencies recoup disaster expenses and losses. The financial programs traditionally are a cost share between the federal and state government.