Emergency Planning: Hurricane
Atlantic hurricane season is June
through November, but as the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration notes,
there is nothing magical in these dates, and
hurricanes have occurred outside of this six
To be sure you're ready,
grantees, especially those in coastal areas, should
- Review and update emergency preparedness
- Review any general property, business
interruption, and flood insurance policies to be
sure they are current and provide sufficient coverage.
- Understand what assistance may be available
to certain private non-profit business in the event
a disaster is declared.
Emergency Management Agencies (EMA's) can
help grantees understand, ahead of time, the
assistance available to certain private non-profit
business from their State Emergency Management
Agencies and FEMA under the available public
assistance and mitigation programs.
- Locate and visit a Disaster Recovery Center
(DRC) established close to the impacted area
after a disaster by using this on-line
DRC locator: Information about assistance
from several agencies may be available at the
DRC including your State, FEMA, SBA, and USDA.
- For grantees in predominantly rural areas,
assistance in the form of emergency loans at
below-market interest rates and even emergency
grants may be available under the Rural
Development Housing & Community Facilities
Programs to private non-profit providers
(PNPs) providing critical community services
such as primary health care. Speak to the USDA
respresentative at a DRC
or contact your USDA
Rural Development State Office.
- Be familiar with the disaster assistance
application process in the case a disaster
declaration is made for a county in which you operate.
- Attend the applicant briefing conducted by
your State and be familiar with the deadlines
for seeking assistance.
- Consider mutual aid arrangements with
other nearby grantees and develop working relationships
with local and State emergency preparedness officials.
- The first source of assistance is always
local because of its proximity and rapid availability.
Communities know best what their needs are and
what local resources are available quickly.
Plan ahead with local EMA officials —
in an emergency, they will be your connection
with State and Federal officials.
- Familiarize yourself with potential sources
of credentialed volunteer health personnel your
State may request to assist you during emergencies.
- Investigate pre-disaster hazard mitigation
- Help employees and patients to prepare.
Local resources are the first to
come into play. When local resources are overwhelmed,
your local Emergency Management Agency (EMA) will
seek assistance from adjoining EMA's and, if necessary,
from the State. If adjoining jurisdictions or the
State can provide assistance, as is the case in most
disasters, no request is made for Federal assistance.
States can request assistance from each other through
the congressionally ratified Emergency
Management Assistance Compact.
Only when a disaster is large enough to overwhelm
State resources does a Governor make a request
for Federal assistance. A Governor first asks for
joint State/Federal preliminary damage assessments
(PDA's) for Public Assistance and/or Individual Assistance.
If the damage is found to be significant the Governor
may send a request to FEMA for a Presidential major
disaster or emergency declaration. Grantees need to
be sure their needs are assessed as part of this PDA
process. If, in response to a gubernatorial request,
the President issues a Stafford Act major disaster
or emergency declaration for one or more counties
within a State, Federal assistance is then available
By working with local and State EMA officials
before a disaster, grantees can familiarize themselves
with the procedures they may need to follow to make
their needs part of the State's request to FEMA.
State EMA officials generally look to the State and
local health department officials to assist them in
assessing the medical needs within a community. Maintaining
strong relationships with local and State health officials
and educating them about the role HRSA grantees play
in the community can be very helpful in facilitating
future requests for assistance.
Planning to prevent, mitigate and respond to future
disasters and work with local, State and Federal officials
is the best way to be prepared for events we all hope
never come to pass.