The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has received a national grant to offer an in-depth and customized disaster resiliency training program for nonprofit agencies to supplement the community-wide emergency operations plan.
The $248,000 grant will provide training for two cohorts – the first beginning in March focused on Springfield-Greene County and the second beginning in October for the Joplin-Carthage area. The application for the Springfield-Greene County program is available at: http://www.formstack.com/forms/CFO-resilientcommunity.
The Resilient Community program also serves as a pilot project for potential use in other communities. Nonprofit Services Center, based in St. Louis, will facilitate the program as well as engage topic experts on specific aspects of disaster resiliency to participate in the training.
The grant was funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, based in Eden Prairie, Minn. One of the MAC Foundation’s focus areas is disaster relief and resiliency and it has previously supported the CFO’s recovery efforts for the May 2011 Joplin tornado and the February 2012 Branson tornado.
“The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation is an important partner and resource for CFO, considering our region’s vulnerability to natural disasters over and above the types of situations that can strike individual nonprofits or communities anywhere,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “We share a common philosophy that building resilience is one of the best practices to ensure a more successful recovery process.”
The program differs from general disaster preparedness training because the 15 agencies selected to participate will attend four daylong class sessions and work with facilitators between class sessions to develop customized plans to fit each organization. At the end of the program, successful participants will have the opportunity to apply for implementation grants of up to $5,000 each.
Class participants also will be expected to become part of an ongoing network of “next responders” that may be called upon by the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management for assistance in a community-wide disaster.
The “next responders” are agencies that don’t provide immediate disaster response as a main function of their work. But they would offer services needed during a recovery phase; examples could include areas such as child care, legal aid, counseling, animal welfare, housing, and services to vulnerable populations such as the elderly or disabled.
“Disasters locally and nationally have always taught us the dependence a community has on resources from non-government agencies,” said Ryan Nicholls, director of the Springfield-Greene County OEM. “The training to strengthen these agencies within our region will significantly enhance our resiliency to recover. We could not be more proud to support such a program and hope this model of training and preparedness will be followed by all community partners.”