Be Prepared for the Next Emergency

September 13, 2018

CNE is thinking about our neighbors in the Carolinas currently preparing for and dealing with Hurricane Florence. Our hearts are with you in this trying time.

While the forecast for our area region has tempered, now is a great time to make sure you and the nonprofits you are affiliated with are ready for whatever comes next. A few hours preparing for worst-case scenarios can make a big difference for the future of your organization.

Some things to consider for your nonprofit and the next natural disaster: Do you have an updated emergency contact list? Is essential data backed up in an off-site location? Do you have the insurance coverage that you need? Are there deferred maintenance needs making your facility particularly vulnerable? The Virginia Department of Emergency Management offers toolkits for disaster preparation and recovery.

Emergencies come in different forms. For a nonprofit, the unexpected departure of a key staff member or leader can create a tremendous vulnerability. What would happen if your Executive Director suddenly could no longer come into work? Having an up-to-date emergency succession plan is wise, and there are a number of templates to consider online. That there are designated board or staff members who have access key information — bank accounts, legal records, human resources files, and even keys to the building — are immediate needs to consider as well as communications and leadership plans.

As you are considering your own risk factors and opportunities to prepare, CNE members have free access to the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, which provides expert resources and advice for the unique situations.

If you are interested in contributing to the disaster relief take a look at the Better Business Bureau’s tips. And keep in mind, there are a number of online resources that will help you vet local charities, including Give.orgCharity Navigator, and GuideStar.