Natural Disasters & Crises
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Disaster Management & Response

With organizations across the nation determining when and how to resume operations while protecting the well-being of their employees and communities, FEMA has released: Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This new resource builds upon the White House guidelines for Opening Up America Again by providing further reconstitution planning recommendations for state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector stakeholders.

FEMA created a 36-minute video tutorial to help FEMA grant recipients and sub-recipients understand how to properly contract during emergency or exigent circumstances. The guidance is outlined on the FEMA COVID-19 Fact Sheets & Guidance webpage and the COVID-19 guidance: Procurements Under Grants During Periods of Exigent or Emergency Circumstances.

When a natural disaster strikes or a tragedy hits home, it's part of our instinct to rush in and help our community in need. We see the hurt and confusion taking over friends and neighbors in need and almost immediately funds from all corners start piling in to show compassion and to help meet immediate needs. This is the human response.

Florida Nonprofit Alliance hosted a call to hear from Margaret Linnane and Mark Brewer on the sector's response after the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando. Margaret and Mark share their community's response, lessons learned, challenges faced and what lies ahead. The questions that came up:  What are the gaps in services that nonprofits are providing to survivors and their families? What are the underlying causes of this event (not related to advocacy or policy)? How can all of the affected communities begin to talk to each other, maybe even for the first time, to build a strong and collaborative response? And, what if issues pop-up that we had no clue even existed?

Listen to the recording here.

Key Take-Aways

  • Take care of yourself first - have a crisis response plan, hold drills, adopt an emergency communication plan for your own staff so that you can function in the aftermath of a crisis.

  • Know where to find resources, such as insurance agents in your state. A natural partner is the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, FNA members are automatically members.

  • Can your nonprofit help with one of these roles: convener, connector, referral source, sense-maker, collaborator and potentially the backbone of collective impact endeavors.

  • Who are the first responders in your region? Showcase their work - be their champions.

  • Guide donors to identify legitimate nonprofits and work with state charity officials to raise awareness of potentially fraudulent fundraising.

  • One of the most important aspects of disaster preparation is making sure that digital information is backed up.

Other resources:

Briefing- Disaster/Tragedy Relief

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