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.
"Whole Community" is a means by which residents, emergency management practitioners, organizational and community leaders, and government officials can collectively understand and access the needs of their respective communities and determine the best ways to organize and strengthen their assets, capacities, and interests.
Whole Community is a philosophical approach in how to conduct the business of emergency management.
- Shared understanding of community needs and capabilities
- Greater empowerment and integration of resources from across the community
- Stronger social infrastructure
- Establishment of relationships that facilitate more effective prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery activities
- Increased individual and collective preparedness
- Greater resiliency at both the community and national levels
Forget about disasters. Think how much better our daily quality of life would be if we lived in a community with these benefits. Come to find out, disaster resilient communities are first and foremost, communities that function and solve problems well under normal conditions.
The Whole Community approach requires finding ways to support and strengthen the institutions, assets, and networks that already work well in the community. The more we know about the community, the better we can understand their real-life safety and sustaining needs – today and in a disaster.
Last but not least, engaging the whole community and empowering local action will better position stakeholders to plan for and meet the actual needs of the community. These are the basic principles of the Whole Community approach.
Is your community a Whole Community? Let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org!
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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