The last four months of 2017 were days that rocked the foundation of all of us working in the disaster world. In those four months, the United States dealt with three major hurricanes, a mass shooting, and large wildfires (and those are just the big ones). So it’s no surprise that the first quarter of 2018 has seen a huge amount of work to steady the chaos created at the end of the year, form strategy to guide response going forward, and a gradual acceptance that the workload will remain enormous for years to come. Welcome to the new “normal.”
When the Center for Disaster Philanthropy launched the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook two years ago, it did so with the goal of collating the lessons learned from funders and foundations who have lived through disasters and crises. We also wanted to take resources they had developed and provide them to others who were developing a plan for a disaster into their work flow and responding to disasters in their communities. As the disasters of 2017 happened, we realized there was a lot to be added to the Playbook based on the changing face of response and recovery and the many questions we fielded in the heat of action. Because of this, much of our focus in 2018 will be on adding some new information and elements to the Playbook.
But before we do that, we want to hear from you. We’re hoping you’ll take a few minutes to complete a short survey on what parts of the Playbook you have used, what elements you have found most useful, and what things you most would like to see added that aren’t there yet. As a thank you, we’ll be sending a small Amazon gift card your way. I really hope you’ll take the time, as your feedback gives us valuable starting points to begin meshing with the work plan we’ve begun outlining for the year! Preparing for disaster and having resources at hand are some of the best steps to being ready for any number of events that could happen in any community across the country.
In addition, I’ve been hard at work completing hurricane assessments in Puerto Rico and Florida. I’ll be in Puerto Rico from February 26 to March 1, and I’ll be back in Florida for the PEAK Grantmaking Conference in Orlando, and I plan to spend a few extra days around the state finishing out our long-term assessment. Please come find me if you’re in those areas in the coming weeks!