Nonprofit Disaster Readiness

Nonprofit Disaster Readiness

Will We Be Ready?

Napa County, August 2014.  A 6.0 earthquake. 15 seconds of shaking.

When the rumbling stopped, one person was dead, 200 were injured and Napa County was a broken community with no way of knowing the frustrations in store for recovery. The community had suffered ruptured water mains, a buckled bridge, power loss, and more than 2,000 damaged homes and buildings. Napa County had suffered a disaster of epic portions, yet forecasters ominously warn it is bound to happen again in earth-quake prone California.

“We don’t have a chance to practice the ‘what to do next’ nearly enough,” Steven E Lederer, former Napa County Director of Public Works told a group assembled at Hartnell College for the 3rd Monterey County Resiliency Summit.

Disaster Resiliency Summit Held

DisasterEvacuationThe Resiliency Summit April 6 brought together an array of Monterey County organizations from nonprofits and grassroots neighborhood-based disaster response volunteers to fire department personnel and Monterey County Office of Emergency Services planners.

The takeaway was that a disaster is not a question of when or what, but how well are we prepared to respond together? Have we considered how nonprofit organizations will be able to provide critical services to their communities?

It could be an earthquake. It could be a fire like the one that consumed homes, property and caused evacuations in the Tassajara community of Monterey County in September 2015. It could be a flood, such as the one in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2008 when Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) President and CEO Dan Baldwin was at the helm of the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

DanBadlwin2015(Tunnell)IMG_1349The flooding so far exceeded the scale of what anyone thought could happen,” Baldwin said about the Cedar River cresting 19 feet above flood stage. “We know that nonprofit organizations play a vital role, they are part of the recovery of a community.” –  Dan Baldwin, CFMC President and CEO

Resiliency is the ability to cope with adversity, to learn from the experience and grow stronger as a result. We are stronger working together.

Building a Nonprofit Resiliency Plan

A workshop Thursday, June 16 will provide the next step of equipping nonprofits to build a disaster plan.

“Building a Resiliency Plan for Your Nonprofit” will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the CFMC’s Monterey office. Cost is $30 per team though scholarships are available. This workshop will help nonprofits develop their business resiliency in a crisis or disaster. Participants will:

  • Acquire the tools to stay open, or re-open rapidly after a disaster
  • Receive a business resiliency workbook/template to develop a plan
  • Work on their plan in class

Presented by Dick Bower, Emergency Planner, Monterey County Office of Emergency Services. Teams of 2-3 are encouraged to attend and network with other organizations. Offered by the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in partnership with Nonprofit Alliance of Monterey County (NAMC) and the Resilient Monterey County Partnership.

Register Now

Cristina Dirksen is the CFMC Communications Associate and is a Neighborhood Watch block captain in her in Marina neighborhood.