Earlier this year, the CFO was awarded $45,000 to make the Natural Disaster PREP Initiative grants available to our affiliate foundations, made possible through The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Five affiliate foundations representing the Cape Girardeau, Lake of the Ozarks, Hermann, Joplin and Ozark Foothills areas were selected to receive grant funding for disaster preparedness projects. The CFO is a member of the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency, and Emergency Partnership, a TFN project to support a disaster preparedness, response, and recovery learning cohort among 20 community foundations in an eight-state Midwestern region of the United States.
Cape Area Community Foundation
A $10,000 grant to increase earthquake and other natural disaster preparedness for civic leaders in the four-county Cape area was awarded to the Cape Area Community Foundation.
The funding will be used to develop a training curriculum for elected and appointed leaders in Cape Girardeau, Perry, Bollinger and Scott counties to create a unified disaster response approach for all four counties in the Southeast Regional Emergency Management Agencies and Community Organizations Active in Disaster. The proposal was made in collaboration with Perry County Community Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Community Caring Council and multiple county agencies that work in disaster preparedness and response. The material will focus on the specific roles of elected and appointed officials during and after natural disasters.
Community Foundation of the Lake
A $6,000 grant to develop a Certified Emergency Responders Training program in the Lake of the Ozarks area was awarded to the Community Foundation of the Lake. The funding will support the Camden County Emergency Management Agency with materials, training and recruitment efforts to start this local program. CERT volunteers are trained to assist first responders after natural disasters when additional support is needed to help residents.
With the grant, local emergency managers will recruit volunteers willing to enhance their own preparedness so they would be able to leave home after a natural disaster to assist in neighborhoods, church communities and nonprofits. The CERT volunteers also go through an annual retraining and refresher course to stay current on local disaster-response plans.
Community Foundation of the Hermann Area Inc.
A $10,000 grant to install signs identifying evacuation and emergency access routes for residents and first responders during severe flooding threats on the Missouri River was awarded to the Community Foundation of the Hermann Area Inc. The funding will be used to purchase signs to mark a proposed evacuation route, detours, street closures and local traffic only along with the posts needed to mount them.
The proposal was made in collaboration with the City of Hermann and emergency management offices such as the ambulance, police and fire departments, which worked together to designate a route that would allow residents to evacuate while also indicating designated access for emergency services. The project first needs a city ordinance approved to formalize the proposed routes.
Joplin Regional Community Foundation
A $9,000 grant to help prepare Joplin-area senior citizens to better withstand natural disasters was awarded to the Joplin Regional Community Foundation. The funding will provide training for at least 15 nonprofit agencies that work with older adults to improve both organizational and personal preparedness.
Joplin’s grant proposal seeks to address lessons learned from the 2011 tornado. Statistics show the fatality rate was eight per 1,000 people in Joplin for those 60 and older, compared to two per 1,000 for people under 60, even after taking out hospital and nursing home deaths. Research suggests that older residents may experience a lack of information, a lack of social networks and have less ability to recover from storm-induced trauma. This grant funding will provide training for organizations that work with older adults and also develop emergency preparedness kits for the agencies. Missouri Southern State University and the JRCF will provide in-kind and financial support to supplement the grant.
Ozark Foothills Regional Community Foundation
A $10,000 grant to conduct a housing study to identify potential development areas that aren’t at increased risk for river flooding was awarded to the Ozark Foothills Regional Community Foundation. The funding will be used for a housing study following the 2017 flooding that destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes. Regional leaders want to increase the limited housing options available so that displaced residents can return to their home counties with more options for safe, affordable homes.
This study will provide a base of information to support a federal grant recently awarded to the region to support unmet housing needs related to the 2017 flooding. The OFRCF will work with local governments, long-term recovery agencies, the Missouri Association of Council of Governments and area chambers of commerce to understand the region’s housing needs and challenges.