Guest Post: How to turn strategy into action to create a 'whole' community

Guest Post: How to turn strategy into action to create a 'whole' community

Posted on November 29, 2012 by Guest Blogger

Editor's Note: Veronica Taylor is a consultant specializing in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. She previously worked with The Patterson Foundation to help deepen its understanding of the disaster space. As a guest blogger, she will cover issues relevant to the disaster sector. 

The term Whole Community seems a bit daunting. Where do you start?

Remember several blogs back when a presented the Disaster Funding Decision Model?   I said, if complexity can be reduced, a disaster becomes less severe and less traumatic, disruptive, and damaging.  The same applies to the Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management.

Think of it as a matrix. First, we apply six strategic themes.

They are:

  • Understand community complexity
  • Recognize community capabilities and needs
  • Foster relationships with community leaders
  • Build and maintain partnerships
  • Empower local action
  • Leverage and strengthen social infrastructure, networks, and assets.

Now, across the top of the matrix, list the five areas of Emergency Management:

  • Prevention
  • Protection
  • Mitigation
  • Response
  • Recovery

This is the framework to develop a Whole Community. The following action questions will help complete the matrix:

  • How can we better understand the actual needs of the communities we serve?
  • What partnerships might we need in order to develop an understanding of the community’s needs?
  • How do we effectively engage the whole community in emergency management to include a wide breadth of community members?
  • How do we generate interest in disaster preparedness to get a seat at the table with community organizations?
  • How can we tap into what communities are interested in to engage in discussions about increasing resilience?
  • What activities can emergency managers change or create to help strengthen what already works well in communities?
  • How can communities and emergency management support each other?

Still spinning?  Contact me at

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.