Two Words. One Starts With a “D” and the Other Ends With an “N”, but It’s Not Diversity & Inclusion.
Disaster season! We’re nearly two months beyond June 1st, and for those who don’t know, that’s the official start date for hurricane reason in North America. But, there’s just one issue. We’ve been hyper-focused on racial equality and this little thing called COVID-19.
Don’t get me wrong, both are important.
COVID-19 most immediately needs to be dealt with. Like other types of disasters, it uncovered (yet again) the disparities among communities of color in America. But we won’t have a vaccine until 2021 by all estimates. At the same time our citizens are still demonstrating and protesting to rid our country of racism in the communities we live and do business.
But we mustn’t forget we’re well into hurricane season.
Last year alone there were 18 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 “intense” hurricanes that caused more than $7.4 billion (USD) in damage across North America. Countless people were left displaced. Material possessions and lives ruined. But wait, it gets worse. Some are predicting the 2020 season activity to be well above average. I share this not to scare you. Rather, to remind you that it’s not too late to prepare. historically hurricanes make landfall in the United States around the month of September. So, if you’ve not prepared you still have time.
Now’s the time to think about what you must do to prepare your home and even place of work. The difference this year is that we’re preparing for hurricane season during a pandemic. Now, I won’t begin waxing philosophically about climate change or disaster season getting worse as a result of human behavior.
Instead, this post is a reminder (with posted resources below) for your family and place of work. Perhaps you’re a small business owner or maybe you’re responsible for supporting disaster preparedness efforts for your employer.
Or alternatively, if you work in Corporate Social Responsibility and haven’t yet done so, start reaching out to your disaster relief partners before it’s too late. Below are some reputable organizations and agencies whose resources can help guide your efforts.
Resources for disaster preparedness:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Preparing for Hurricanes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) — National Weather Service: National Hurricane Preparedness
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Ready.Gov, Hurricanes
- American Red Cross: Hurricane Preparedness
- United States Department of Labor — Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Hurricane Preparedness and Response
Already on the ball with preparedness? What resources have worked best for you? Or, perhaps you partner with disaster preparedness and relief organizations whose resources aren’t listed here. Let me know and I’ll take a look and perhaps update this post. As we head further into summer, I’ll be periodically re-sharing and re-posting this as a gentle nudge. We must not lose focus on the inevitable, we must stay ResponsibleAF.
About the author: Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Social Impact & Volunteerism for Marriott International. Jerome is also an independent consultant and advisor in the subject matter of Sustainability and Social Impact. Prior to that Jerome held the position of Senior Manager of Impact Analysis and Assessment for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national organization that offers help, hope, and healing to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in America’s armed forces. Jerome also served on the board of directors of Peace Through Action USA for four years and also serves on the PsychArmor Institute Advisory Committee for the School of Volunteers & Nonprofits. Jerome holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in operations management and a Master of Sustainability Leadership (MSL) from Arizona State University. Jerome is designated as Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) and is also a veteran of the US Navy.