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During the past few years distributed wireless sensor networks have been the focus of considerable research for both military and civil applications. Sensors are generally constrained in on-board energy supply therefore efficient management of the network is crucial to extend the life of the system. Sensors' energy cannot support long haul communication to reach a remote command site, thus they require multi-tier architecture to forward data. An efficient way to enhance the lifetime of the system is to partition the network into distinct clusters with a high-energy node called a gateway as cluster-head. Failures are inevitable in sensor networks due to the inhospitable environment and unattended deployment. However, failures in higher level of hierarchy e.g. cluster-head cause more damage to the system because they also limit accessibility to the nodes that are under their supervision. In this paper we propose an efficient mechanism to recover sensors from a failed cluster. Our approach avoids a full-scale re-clustering and does not require deployment of redundant gateways.