July Focus To Be Slow-Onset Disasters

As we write this, Tropical Storm Arthur is working its way up the Atlantic coast and is predicted to turn into the season’s first hurricane. But it won’t be the last one. It’s a good reminder to all of us to take an inventory of the potential natural disaster risks for our families and organizations and what you can do to be prepared. Planning is the best way to lower the chance of serious harm or damage.
Often at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, much of our focus is on rapidly occurring natural disasters. We saw this in May, as we worked with tornado-affected communities, and in June, as we focused on hurricanes.
During the month of July, however, we’ll be focusing on slow-onset disasters. These slow-onset disasters might be a humanitarian crisis, or when created by natural causes, it is manifested through drought or climate change. These disasters may not occur with the suddenness of a tornado system, but they are equally devastating and present a much different set of scenarios to disaster philanthropists. Let us know if you have a question or some information to share on this topic. You can reach me at bob.ottenhoff@disasterphilanthropy.org.
As we step forward into July, I’d like to also quickly recap some things that happened at CDP in June.
CDP’s mission and work is overseen by a five-person volunteer board, which met June 20 in Washington, D.C. As part of it’s meeting, the board took a tour of the National Building Museum exhibit, Designing for Disaster, and heard from the exhibit’s curator. The board also approved four grants from the Typhoon Haiyan relief fund, and we look forward to sharing the details of those awards very soon! We’re confident you’ll share our excitement in using our funds in a meaningful way in the lives of those affected by the storm.
This month, I will be speaking at the Forum of Regional Grantmakers Annual Conference on July 29 in San Diego, California. My fellow panelists will be Nina Stack, of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and Joanne Kelly, Colorado Association of Funders. Much of our focus will be given to a Playbook we are creating that is designed to document best practices, experiences and helpful advice to donors involved in disaster support. If you’ll be attending this conference, or will be in the area at the time, please contact me at bob.ottenhoff@disasterphilanthropy.org.

Robert G. Ottenhoff

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