Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Remember the television series "Let's Make a Deal?" The show's host Monty Hall would ask audience members to barter unusual objects. You have a plastic aardvark, but Monty offers you the chance for whatever's hidden behind door number one. Do you take it?
Uncertainty and risk are part of everyday life. I often feel like a contestant on that show given the purse I carry. Flashlight. Extra medication. Whistle. Mylar blanket. A 26-year resident of San Francisco, I take earthquake preparedness seriously. I've been trained by Red Cross and NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team), a program run by the Fire Department to enlist civilians in disaster response.
As foundations, we can ensure that the community based organizations that are the life blood of our neighborhoods are resilient. Resilient during the current economic crisis, during a swine flu pandemic, and following a major disaster.
The theme of this newsletter is "Be Prepared." NCG has developed many resources for funders who want to ensure the stability of our community during times of great upheaval. In NCG's new Disaster Preparedness and Response Toolkit, which launches mid September, we've compiled lessons from foundations across the country—on the Gulf Coast following Katrina, and in New York after 9-11.
I hope you find these tools inspiring. It feels good to know that you and your family have a plan to connect following an earthquake. It feels good to know that you can help grantees take steps now to be more resilient. And it feels good to know that you have a way to help the agencies you support when they need your help the most.
Fortunately, you don't need to carry around a 15–pound purse to be prepared. September is National Preparedness Month. Begin the conversation at your foundation now.
Senior Program Officer
Walter and Elise Haas Fund
Co-chair, NCG Disaster Preparedness & Response Task Force