Network disaster recovery is one of the greatest concerns for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and first responders during large-scale natural disasters such as earth- quakes. In many recent studies, wireless multi-hop networking has been demonstrated as an effective technique to quickly and efficiently extend the network coverage during disasters. In this paper, we specifically address the network deployment problem by proposing the Population-Aware Relay Placement (PARP) solution, which seeks the efficient deployment of a limited number of relays such that population coverage is maximized in the scenario of network disaster recovery. We provide a graph-based modeling and prove its NP-hardness accordingly. In order to efficiently solve this problem, we propose a heuristic solution, which is constructed in two steps. We first design a simple algorithm based on a disk graph to determine the Steiner locations, which is the biggest challenge in this problem. Then, we formulate the problem as an integer programming problem, which is inspired by the formulation of Prize-Collecting Steiner Tree (PCST). Thus, the integer problem is solved by exploring the similarity of the existing algorithm for PCST. To evaluate the proposed solution extensively, we present numerical results on both real-world and random scenarios, which validate the effectiveness of the proposed solution and show substantial improvement by comparing to the previous one.