Many local non-profits may be elibile for federal assistance if they suffer damage following a large disaster. Please contact DEM ASAP following an event to report damage. Please document all damage carefully, and have a rough estimate of damage. Getting an estimate quickly is more important than making sure it is accurate.
Island non-profits, churches, and other community groups will be the backbone of any recovery effort following a disaster. A few of the keys to a strong recovery will be:
- Communicate: groups must work cooperatively
- Think Carefully : avoid the desire to rush in. Better to provide well considered and organized help than help that is chaotic and poorly planned.
- Be Flexible: your group will likely need to broaden its traditional role, or even completely rethink its mission. This ability to redefine and think creatively is critical following a disaster.
- Have Patience: The first hours and days following a disaster are inherently chaotic. There is always a period of time where it feels like nothing is happening. Use this time to organize and plan future moves. Once things get moving, they won't slow down for weeks or months.
- Evaluate Skills: Not everyone thrives in a post-disaster setting. Don't be shy about having some decision makers step back or about having some untested staff move forward.
- Stay Calm: There's always a natural adrenaline rush following a disaster. Try to stay relaxed. Treat people decently, speak carefully- people work most efficiently when they're comfortable.
- Stay Safe: Disaster recovery is a draining business. Make the safety and mental health of your people your primary goal.