No two emergencies are identical. Therefore, no single plan of action can anticipate and address every possible circumstance. The instructions contained in this plan are intended to serve as guidelines only. They may not be appropriate in all cases. At no time should you risk your personal safety in complying with any of its provisions.
Community foundations have proven themselves to be cornerstones of support to the community, especially in times of need and disaster. When disasters strike, the foundation must be well prepared to quickly and effectively help itself to be able to help others.
This plan outlines the organization's strategy for responding to disaster, provides information essential to continuity of critical business functions, and identifies the resources needed to:
- ensure safety of personnel.
- communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders.
- provide timely emergency support and grantmaking service to the community.
- protect assets and vital records (electronic data and hardcopy).
- maintain continuity of mission-critical services and support operations.
The first step in developing your plan is to define the goals of the plan. For example:
- Protect life and health
- Protect business assets
- Protect organizational reputation
Full Disaster Plan
You may download the entire Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan in pdf, as a Word document, or in rich text format. Insert your own information throughout to personalize the plan to your organization.
Disaster Plan by Section
In sections that can be personalized, the following formats are available: [pdf] [doc] [rtf]
Risks and Event Scenarios [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — Disasters are events that exceed the response capabilities of a community and/or the organizations that exist within it. Risks to be considered include those from natural hazards, neighbors, building environment, political or social unrest and risks connected to IT and data security.
Plan Activation — The foundation CEO, an appointee, or successor may activate this Plan when it is necessary to manage and coordinate a disaster response. The decision to activate will be made in consultation with members on the Incident Response Team.
Responsibility and Delegation of Authority [pdf] — The individuals included in the list in the next section will be responsible for the tasks listed.
Incident Response Team [pdf] [doc] [rtf]
Incident Response Team Roles & Responsibilities [pdf]
Business Impact Analysis [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — Not all business activities can be continued following a disaster. The foundation and its business groups must determine what is required for survival of the organization.
Recovery Activity Summary & Needs Assessment (description) [pdf] — The chart in this section identifies the critical operating procedures for each department function. Enough information should be included in case the person who normally performs the work is not available and someone else has to fill in to perform the tasks.
Recovery Activity Summary and Needs Assessment (template) [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — The checklist in this section is what will be used to perform those tasks.
Vital Records [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — As a separate document each foundation should maintain a document retention policy listing all vital business records and documents and a policy for the retention of those documents.
Disaster Notification/Communications [pdf] — The public relations and communications coordinator will notify foundation personnel of plan activation and event status
Personnel & Board Contact Information [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — Ensure that contact information, including after-hours and emergency numbers, are up to date.
Building Evacuation [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — Any decision to evacuate the building will be made by foundation management or incident commander.
Emergency Operations Center [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — In the event of a disaster, the incident response team will convene at a physical location known as the emergency operations center (EOC).
Business Recovery Locations [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — In the event of a disaster, the business functions in this section may be performed off-site.
Information Technology/Operations Preparedness [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — Preparation before the fact is the first step in successful disaster recovery. The more time spent in advance planning for different situations, the easier, smoother, and faster the IT recovery will progress.
Emergency Grantmaking Procedures [pdf] [doc] [rtf] — During a significant disaster, foundation priorities will shift to address time-sensitive, disaster-specific issues, while maintaining normal operations as much as possible. Emerging issues will be evaluated quickly and will be placed ahead of routine operations. Grantmaking will focus on areas of greatest community need.
Appendices [pdf] [doc] [rtf]
Future Directions and Notes from the Committee
It's been over five years since terrorists struck on September 11 and two years since Hurricane Katrina brought destruction to the Gulf Coast. With those disasters and others in mind, a committee of your colleagues has been at work developing a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan designed to be used by community foundations.
Support for this work was provided by the Community Foundations Leadership Team, the Fiscal and Administrative Officer's Group and Program Network. We also had expert advice from Doug Nelson of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions who is presenting a session on this topic and this plan at the 2006 Fall Conference for Community Foundations.
Our colleagues from New Orleans and Oklahoma City approached the disaster planning process through the lens of personal experience. But all of us took our task seriously, hoping to put together a document that would help our field.
Version 1.1 of this template above represents only the first phase of our work and will continue to be revised based on the experience of users.
The second phase of our project will address a plan for community foundation response to the community in times of disaster. We also will expand the current document with additional sections on information technology and personnel policies as well as the glossary.
Every community foundation is different, not only in size but also in circumstance. Some sections may not be relevant to your plan or you may need additional information for effective operations in areas that we have not covered.
As you use this document, please take the time to provide relevant feedback. The names of all committee members are listed below, and we invite your comments and questions.
We also know that many of you may already be working on similar plans. We invite you to share your documents as well as outside resources that we may not be aware of.
As a field, we are proud of the way that community foundations share best practices. We hope the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan becomes another successful example of working together to benefit us all.
Hazle Hamilton (Chairperson)
Community Foundation of Central Georgia
Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan
Oklahoma City Community Foundation
The Greater New Orleans Foundation
Berks County Community Foundation