Volume 21 Issue 2, 2006

Property Rights: returning personal possessions after disasters

Anne Eyre, Lucy Payne

Peer-reviewed Article

Archived Article


Today great emphasis is placed on respecting and fulfilling the rights of the bereaved in the aftermath of disaster and other circumstances of sudden violent death. When it comes to the specific details relating to the recovery, processing and return of personal property to the bereaved, however, there are still varying degrees of understanding about the meaning and significance of personal property and a lack of clarity within and across the various responding organisations about protocols for dealing with such property. The purpose of this article is to highlight key issues relating to the treatment and return of personal property with particular reference to the role of emergency responders and other disaster managers.