March 2022 THRIVE | Disaster Preparedness, Response & Recovery
Welcome to Thrive 2022
Hello Friends –
We’re taking a new approach to sharing the Community Foundation’s work this year, focusing each bimonthly issue on a key community challenge. We’re hoping this provides helpful insight as we work together to make this beautiful county of ours a place where everyone has what they need to thrive.
President & CEO
Disaster Preparedness, Response & Recovery
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s historic floods, people in government, nonprofits, healthcare, as well as countless good neighbors across our community did heroic work. And yet? We can do better.
Despite our best intentions, these events caught us in the act of “planning to plan” for disaster.
As the Community Foundation, along with government and community partners, navigates the remaining relief and recovery processes related to the pandemic and the floods, we are also working to improve preparedness and coordination in anticipation of future events, knowing that different types of disasters require varied response. We’ve learned a lot between these two events (the pandemic and the flood) including:
- Those already furthest from opportunity are generally the hardest hit.
- The Resilience Fund model works, i.e., local donor resources offer the swiftest relief.
- Clear definition of roles and responsibilities is vital.
- Better communication and outreach protocols will ensure timely, coordinated, and reliable information flow to everyone who needs it.
- We need facilities adaptable for temporary housing and food access that allow people to stay close to support systems.
- Local government responsibility for long-term recovery is limited.
This last point is why the Whatcom Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG, formerly Whatcom Strong) formed. The LTRG is permanently dedicated to managing individual and community recovery from emergencies, while planning for strategic investments and actions to ensure Whatcom County is better prepared for future disasters.
We all need to understand what to expect — and what not to — when the unexpected happens. We’re doing our best to ensure that if we as a community are not responding to a disaster, we are preparing for one. It’s the only way to ensure rapid, orderly, and equitable care for our neighbors in the face of our next community crisis.
What the Whatcom Community Foundation is doing …
- Participating in the Whatcom LTRG to support recovery and improve preparedness.
- Raising $5 million for the Resilience Fund to support preparedness as well as more flood relief and recovery. Public funding is essential, and it is not sufficient.
- Advocating with local partners to build on good work and valuable learning.
- Building community awareness.
- Join the Community Foundation for its May Community Briefing – Whatcom County Flooding: Reflecting on Community Resiliency
How You Can Help:
- Contribute to flood recovery. Recovery takes time; community generosity is a lifeline.
Whatcom LTRG Fund
Whatcom Small Business Disaster Recovery Fund
- Prepare your household for the next disaster. Get some tips here.
- Help raise awareness and resources by forwarding this email to a friend.