It’s with a little disbelief that I write the words “back to school” to start this blog. This month, thousands of children and teens will start to fill up classrooms across the country. As they do so, we know fall is just around the corner, and that means our year is shifting into cooler temperatures and new beginnings.
Our schools and education centers are also a central part of our nation’s disaster preparedness. They are often community shelters and gathering places after a storm. When a school is destroyed in a disaster, our children lose the normal routine, stability, safety, and many services that schools provide.
Restoring education centers is a top priority in recovery, which is why we’ve chosen to make the education strategy the topic of this quarter’s Twitter chat. So mark your calendars and join us at 2 p.m. EST on August 22 by following #CDPPlaybook for a discussion around education and children in disasters. Our discussion will look at the importance of restoring schools and related services for children following a disaster, and some of the important work our NGO colleagues do in schools for months and years following a disaster.
That’s not the only place you can find the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook team this quarter. On October 29, I will join Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, Tom Clareson, and Alison Gilchrest to discuss arts organizations and disaster response and recovery at the Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in Detroit. If you’re at the conference, or in the area, I’d love to see you!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that September is National Preparedness Month. While September is usually a month we tend to buckle down and work hard after summer vacations, I hope you take the opportunity to spend some time internally with your staff and partners thinking through how prepared you are for a disaster and where you can improve. If you need places to start, check out the Playbook’s Mitigation & Preparedness strategy or the ready.gov campaign.
Finally, in October, My Playbook users will be receiving a survey that focuses specifically on what you have used or found helpful in the Playbook and what you’d like to see more of. Please take a few minutes to answer the survey – your responses will be used to shape some of our work next year. I’m of course happy to take your comments, feedback, and stories via email at any time!