BEND, Ore. - Leaders of a collaboration involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC Foundation have selected Project Wildfire as a promising example of the FEMA's Whole Community approach to emergency management.
The Whole Community approach to emergency management engages business, government and nonprofit sectors to integrate the needs, capabilities and resources of the community.
Project Wildfire is one of seven organizations nationwide being recognized for promising progress and leadership in the field. Through this collaboration, the seven selected organizations will receive resources (a $50,000 grant for Project Wildfire) and expertise to expand their preparedness efforts and share best practices.
As a part of the initiative, CDC will aggregate best practices and lessons learned from the seven communities to build learning communities for disaster preparedness.
These best practices and lessons learned will inform the development of recommended preparedness strategies to help other communities adopt and practice the Whole Community approach.
The goal of the collaboration is to build and strengthen partnerships, empower local action, highlight community work, and ultimately create a collective body of knowledge among emergency managers nationwide that supports a Whole Community approach to emergency management.
"We are proud to be one of the seven community organizations selected as a promising example of FEMA's Whole Community model," said Katie Lighthall, program coordinator for Project Wildfire.
"We look forward to highlighting the progress we've made toward whole community wildfire and evacuation preparedness in Deschutes County and contributing to a national effort to make sure America is prepared for similar emergencies," Lighthall adds.
The seven initiatives selected for this project are: Family Emergency Kit Cook Off, Arizona Division of Emergency Management, Phoenix, AZ; Do 1 Thing, Lansing Office of Emergency Management, Lansing, MI; The Independent Living Centers, Joplin, MO; Community Agencies Responding to Disaster (SF CARD), San Francisco; Project Wildfire, Deschutes County, OR; EvacuSpots, New Orleans, LA; Partners in Preparedness, NYC Office of Emergency Management, New York City, NY.
"CDC works closely with FEMA before, during and after disasters to protect the health of Americans," says Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.
"CDC plays an important role in our nation's health security, working with state and local health departments to prepare for, detect and respond to health threats. The CDC Foundation is pleased to serve as the nexus, where, for this collaboration, CDC, FEMA and cross-sector community leaders can come together to share expertise and resources to improve our nation's readiness and resilience."
About FEMA's whole community approach to emergency management
FEMA recognizes that a government-centric approach to emergency management is not enough to meet the challenges posed by a catastrophic incident. Whole Community is an approach to emergency management that reinforces the fact that FEMA is only one part of our nation's emergency management team. This larger collective emergency management team includes, not only FEMA and its partners at the federal level, but also local, tribal, state and territorial partners; non-governmental organizations like faith-based and non-profit groups and private sector industry; to individuals, families and communities, who continue to be the nation's most important assets as first responders during a disaster. More info
About CDC's work related to the whole community approach
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response's (OPHPR) Learning Office organizes leadership and community engagement efforts related to emergency preparedness. Recognizing that government alone cannot create and maintain a prepared and resilient community, CDC continues to explore what community programs achieve the vision of government and communities working hand-in-hand to secure a prepared, healthy and safe community. More info
About the CDC Foundation
Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging effective partnerships between CDC and corporations, foundations and individuals to support CDC's 24/7 work to fight threats to health and safety. The CDC Foundation manages approximately 200 CDC-led programs in the United States and in countries around the world. More info.