Eleven days ago, disaster preparedness took on a whole new meaning for many nonprofits in Kentucky. Whatever you want to call it – disaster planning, emergency preparedness, business continuity planning – the goal is the same: get your organization back up and running in the event of an interruption. It could be something as small as your computer network crashing or, in our recent case, as big as a storm system that destroys entire communities. Regardless of the size and scope of the disaster or emergency, having a plan in place can make all the difference in how effectively your organization can address your own issues and be of help to others in your community. Addressing questions like: who’s the leader of the chain of command should disaster strike; are staff trained on what to do in a variety of emergency situations; what’s an ideally acceptable amount of downtime before services are up and running again; and does the organization have a list of alternative work spaces are critical BEFORE a disaster or emergency strikes. A good plan means your organization can: be up and running as soon as possible; maintain the confidence and trust of staff, clients, donors and others; and if appropriate, provide an effective role in disaster response and relief for your community when they need it most.
Share with us! Does your organization have a disaster plan? How did you create it? What challenges have you faced? What’s worked well?