Planning for natural disasters is a challenge during the best of times. How do you manage it during a pandemic? The National Governors Association (NGA) has released a series of best practices that can help states and organizations navigate these treacherous waters.
In its recent “Planning for Concurrent Emergencies” memo, the NGA recognizes the issues of evacuation and shelter, as well as financial and logistical complications that states face during an emergency, and how they might be exacerbated by a pandemic. Using a “whole community” approach, the memo outlines key points that states and organizations should consider while developing disaster plans:
- Leveraging federal grant programs can defray emergency costs – for response and recovery, depending on the size, scope, and federally declared status, states may be able to utilize up to 90 different grant programs across nearly two dozen federal agencies.
- COVID-19-specific precautions, such as social distancing requirements, may create unique challenges for otherwise well-practiced capabilities, such as evacuation and sheltering – for example, evacuations for hurricanes, may need to be declared sooner to facilitate the orderly movement of people using personal vehicles instead of high-density transit options.
- With COVID-19 producing broad unemployment and recession-like conditions, many people may struggle to apply their limited financial resources to disaster preparedness activities.
- Organizations may need to adjust their messaging strategies to reflect changing media consumption habits during the pandemic, and communicate differently about risk management practices.
Click here to read the memo.