At Our Best in Crisis, But Are We Prepared?

It’s so difficult to imagine that powerful tornadoes can leave a path of destruction across our Commonwealth in such a short period of time, yet require weeks, months, maybe even years for communities to recover.  For the communities left with this daunting task, this is their new reality.  Yesterday I returned from New Orleans, a city that also has first-hand experience with devastation, loss and rebuilding.  New Orleans, seven years following Hurricane Katrina, Kentucky and our surrounding states post-tornado are powerful reminders of the essential role of our nonprofit sector.

It’s in these times of disaster, ruin and chaos that we see the nonprofit sector at its best.  Organizations, their staff, and volunteers engaging quickly to provide safe shelter, a warm meal, a change of clothes, a helping hand with clean-up, a needed hug or hand to hold – when many times, these organizations and individuals themselves also suffered great loss.  But that’s what nonprofits do and do so well – act, care, mobilize, collaborate, offer hope.  It’s this compassion and commitment to meeting the needs of our neighbors that makes me so proud to be a part of this resilient sector and humbled to serve nonprofits across Kentucky.

Danielle Clore

Executive Director



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2 responses to “At Our Best in Crisis, But Are We Prepared?

  1. I know the Horse Council was not prepared as we had hoped to be. We thought we were, as we have been giving grants for food and fencing for many years, but when it is so drastic and right in your own backyard, it is totally different. Phone were ringing off the hook and there was a lot of overlap in services. What we need to learn to do much better is integrate and coordinate our services with other agencies, from vet clinics to feed stores, to those working to help small animals as well. We plan to get a much better plan in place once this all settles down.

  2. I’ve lived in southern Indiana all my life and am old enough to remember the affects of the 1970’s tornados that affected the same communities that were hit again just weeks ago. If I thought about it long enough I’m sure there are plenty of lessons to take away from this, but the one relating to disaster preparedness that hits me strongest is disasters are going to happen. It isn’t “if,” but “when.”

    While working with families who lost their homes, needed access to their homes, or needed food and clothing it struck me how quickly and overwhelmingly the communities responded. One of the benefits to families encountering so much devastation is the community meeting the need to get them back on their feet. That is not a resource a Non-Profit Agency or business is going to be able to rely on, which is why it is so important to have a plan in place.

    We all know a disaster recovery plan is the right thing to do, but the road block is typically finding the time and money to put it together or maybe just not knowing where to start. Most of the information comprising a plan exists already and just needs to be brought together in a format to make it easy to use and save time on the day services are being restored. Getting a plan in place that improves over time is how it is supposed to work anyway. My number one recommendation for disaster recovery is to get something in place. Start small if that is the only option and build on it.
    Dean Dorton Allen Ford

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