“Planning for a natural disaster should be an ongoing process for your community. Don’t plan for a perfect disaster plan. Instead, strive to make your plan better than the one you had last quarter, last month, or last year,” say authors Karen Johnson and Avery Share in the April PM article “Strategic Disaster Planning.” Here are four components to consider for your community’s plan:

Relationships. You’ll create a stronger, more authentic bond if you establish a relationship with state and local officials, not when you’re asking for assistance under duress. Relationships with government agencies in other localities are also critical. Talk with other cities and counties about disaster planning, and perhaps establish mutual aid agreements that specify how you will help each other in a disaster event.

Communication. At no time in your community will communications be as critical—or as problematic—as during a disaster. Making improvements and plans that address communications challenges during a disaster will save time and headaches.

Documentation. Providing proper documentation is crucial to ensuring that a community will receive and keep funding assistance following a disaster from FEMA, HUD, and other funding programs.

Volunteers. Avoid chaos with effective volunteer management.During a disaster, volunteers will show up. Whether they are an asset or a burden to a community largely depends on whether there is a system in place for managing them.

Find out more specific details on each of these pieces in the April PM, before a disaster hits your community.


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