When Disaster Strikes!

Preparing Your Nonprofit & Human Service Clients in Today’s World

There’s no telling when a disaster might strike. Every year, natural disasters disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals across the U.S., and we continue to see the impact and devastation of these events along with the long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts that follow. 

Candle providing light in a room with no electricity

Today, many nonprofit organizations are required to have at least a basic disaster preparedness plan in place as part of their insurance, regulatory or municipal conditions. A researched and detailed disaster preparedness plan can save lives. 

Here are several ways your nonprofit clients can prepare for disaster:

  1. Create an emergency response team. The first step in creating a plan is identifying an emergency response team with defined roles, responsibilities, and a chain of command for everyone involved.
  1. Conduct a risk assessment. In the event of a disaster, what is the biggest risk to your nonprofit? Organizations across the globe are impacted by different risks based on their geographic location, property, population and more. A comprehensive risk assessment can help nonprofit leaders identify areas that could pose a threat in the event of an emergency. 
  1. Include a contingency plan. Emergencies, especially natural disasters, may impact power or phone service. As such, human service organizations must consider their options in the absence of cellular and landline phone service, including the use of satellite phones, citizen band or CB radios, 5G internet routers – and even the old-school phone tree.
  1. Identify potential hazards. Each disaster has its own set of risks. For example, a fire threat will require an evacuation plan, while an active shooter situation may require shelter-in-place protocols. Once you’ve assessed each risk, consider the potential hazards and address each in your plan. 
  1. Provide the proper training. After your client has established a disaster preparedness plan, it’s time to ensure everyone understands their role and how the plan works in practical terms. Test, drill and practice your preparedness plan with all on-site personnel and make sure the team is made aware of the chain of command in the event of an emergency. Invite local officials, first responders, police, and fire, to review your plan and help train staff if possible.
  1. Review your crisis plan – before AND after an emergency. Developing an after-action report to analyze how well the plan worked and where improvement may be needed is a key part of the process. Nonprofit leaders should review their disaster preparedness plan annually to ensure all hazards are considered and the property is insured to value. 
  1. Find the right insurance partner. A specialty insurance brokerage that understands the nuanced needs of service organizations can help nonprofit and human service leaders protect their property, avoid or respond to a business interruption, and help develop a disaster preparedness plan that meets its needs or requirements. At Convelo, our specialized experience writing policies in this sector means those special risks are covered and that your client is fully supported. We understand better than most that our job is to provide the best possible coverage, at the most competitive terms, so these organizations can carry on with their missions with peace of mind. Convelo underwriters have deep knowledge of the complexities of insurance coverage for nonprofits and human services organizations.  

Contact us to learn more about your client’s risks and coverage needs today. 

For more information on disaster preparedness, visit FEMA or READY.GOV .