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Extension > Family > Disaster recovery > Moving Towards Recovery > Financial Recovery After Disaster Video Series > About the Project

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Financial Recovery After Disaster Video Series

Woman standing outside destroyed home

About the Project

In 2012, there were 11 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States which cumulatively caused over $110 billion in damages and 377 deaths (National Climatic Data Center, 2013). This made 2012 the second costliest year on record.

Why a Video Series?

Disaster survivors face tremendous challenges while making financial recovery decisions. Financial recovery is complex and programs vary depending on disaster circumstances. In a study of hurricane Hugo survivors in South Carolina, Rubin & Popkin (1990) found many survivors were low-income and illiterate. Access to videos which provide verbal explanations may have helped survivors better understand financial recovery options.

Use of social media and devices providing internet access has expanded significantly. Ardalan, et. al (2008) found just-in-time videos to be a well-received and utilized resource for disaster survivors, volunteers and professionals following disasters. North Dakota State University Extension Service documented success with a short video on building a sandbag dike, which was viewed 9,292 times via the internet during the active disaster period of the 2011 flood.

University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota State University Extension Service had joined together with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, to develop the Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit in 2010. Given the research and the complex challenges families face after experiencing a disaster, they wanted to partner again to bring the disaster toolkit “to life” with easy-to-access videos.

Developing the Video Series

University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota State University Extension Service received a Smith-Lever Special Needs Grant in 2012 through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Family Financial Recovery Program. These funds were used to create a series of short just-in-time videos to enhance the Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit, helping disaster survivors make the best financial decisions for their unique situation.

The development team included:

The video development process was guided by an advisory board of disaster survivors and professionals to ensure accuracy of content and respectful portrayal of financial circumstances faced during recovery.

Six videos were created, covering the most “high need” areas just as finding help and insurance coverage. After the videos were created, tested, and finalized, shorter promotional versions were created for each of the six videos. For the full list of videos, as well as links, see Videos.

All final videos were placed on this website as well as both partners’ YouTube channels:

Are videos effective to provide information?

Click on graphics below to enlarge.

infographic page 1 infographic page 2

Download the full Impact Evaluation White Paper (PDF)

More Information

For more information on the Financial Recover After Disaster Video Series, contact Lori Hendrickson (; 218-327-5958 ext. 3007).


Ardalan, et. Al. (2010). Post-disaster quality of life among older survivors five years after the Bam earthquake and implications for recovery policy. Ageing & Society.

National Climatic Data Center. (2013, January 8). National overview: Annual 2012. Ashville, NC: National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Rubin, C. B, & Popkin, R. (1990, January). Disaster recovery after hurricane Hugo in South Carolina. Boulder, CO: Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, Institute of Behavioral Science — University of Colorado.

Related resources

Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit — Comprehensive toolkit offers strategies and tools for families to move towards financial recovery.

Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit — An Evaluation of its Efficacy (PDF) — White paper that summarizes the results of an evaluation of the efficacy of the toolkit after its use by North Dakota families affected by floods in summer 2011.

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