Vince Davis – Defeating The Clown – Community Resilience In The New Normal

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Presented By:

Vince Davis


According to FEMA more than sixty-percent of Americans have done nothing to prepare for disasters. Creating resilient communities requires getting residents to take action, and understand why they must prepare. This calls for honest dialogue with residents about the real consequences of doing nothing before a disaster.

Giving stakeholders fresh perspectives about challenges and opportunities for improving community resilience can be a critical part of an effective disaster cycle. As emergency managers, we are responsible not just for response, but true resilience. While the task of recovery is not ours alone, the approach for how we prepare our communities must take a different path. FEMA Administrator Brock Long recently lamented about the lack of preparedness following Hurricane Maria, saying “we have failed to create a culture of preparedness.”

Retired Lt. General Russel Honoré, who led the recovery effort following the Hurricane Katrina response, said, “One’s ability to cope after a disaster is directly related to what they were doing before the disaster.” New solutions to require innovative approaches. Re-thinking traditional tactics for community preparedness can be daunting for emergency management. This workshop will provide a fresh look at how you can improve your community’s resilience.

This presentation will cover 4 different kinds of activities that can be utilized to refresh resiliency and keep emergency stakeholders in-the-loop. We’ll cover strengths and weaknesses of each approach and point the audience to tools available to help create powerful disaster resilience impacts:

1. Bottom-up communications – How to leverage existing stakeholder networks to provide new messaging and integrate preparedness into common activities.
2. Preparing for recovery – The most important and least discussed aspect of resilience. How to prepare people and organizations for the inevitable aftermath of disasters.
3. Strengthening community based organizations – Retooling community-based programs such as CERT and faith-based initiatives to emphasize preparedness for recovery vs. response and relief.
4. Building effective public-private partnerships – Examples of programs for leveraging employers, employees, to build resilience into everyday activities.

Participants will be challenged to come up with one new activity to address each above focus area that they can take back to their communities.


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