On 23 October 2011, and then on 9 November 2011, two earthquakes struck the province of Van in eastern Turkey. One month after the first earthquake, between 25 November and 27 November 2011, a reconnaissance team from the Middle East Technical University, Disaster Management Implementation and Research Center (METU DMC) visited the region. The team focused on disaster management activities such as emergency relief, damage assessment, psychosocial support, and economic impacts. Field observations and personal interviews concluded that deficits in mitigation led to shortcomings in the response and rehabilitation operations in Van. Although search and rescue activities were evaluated as satisfactory, there were problems in the organization of support services, temporary accommodation, and delivery of basic needs. This paper presents a reconnaissance report outlining the observations of the interdisciplinary team in the field. It suggests some policies for improvement in the disaster management system in the future.