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May 13
Tomorrow’s Resilient Communities Start with Today’s Plans

Author: Kevin Horahan, J.D., M.P.H., NRP, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Policy and Planning, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

In every disaster we see neighbors helping neighbors, community organizations reaching out to support people in need, and local businesses raising funds or donating products to help the community recover. Responding to disasters and recovering from them means engaging the whole community. So wouldn’t it make sense for each organization, business, or agency to know how the whole community will work together and plan for that collaboration? Maybe even figure out how to work together and plan for a disaster so the community can bounce back even faster?

That’s what the National Planning Frameworks do. They identify five key phases of a disaster and describe how the whole community work together, including all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals. The frameworks spell out how the entire community builds, sustains, and delivers the core capabilities needed to achieve a goal of national preparedness as part of a unified and coordinated effort.

There’s a framework for each of the five areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. They reflect the value of relationships and partnerships across the whole community not just during an emergency but before and after as well. This approach keeps the whole community informed and fosters a shared understanding of risks, needs, and capabilities with a goal of a more secure and resilient nation.

Three of the five frameworks—Prevention, Mitigation and the updated Response Framework—were released last week. Every disaster can impact health, so health is reflected in each framework, covering the entire continuum of preparedness.

Find out where you fit into the National Planning Frameworks. FEMA even put together a tutorial. As the work to implement the National Preparedness System continues, check the online collaboration forum and visit the Frameworks website to voice your opinion and share your experience.

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