August’s preparedness focus is getting involved. Zoos and aquariums fill an important role in local communities, often serving as a family-friendly gathering places, hubs for nature education, and drivers for local economies. This month we encourage you to think about how your facility might support preparedness and response activities in your community. Disasters begin and end locally, so supporting these activities at a local level is an excellent way to build and strengthen relationships with those that may be assisting you in a disaster. Consider the following:
- What are some ways your facility could support the local community in preparedness or response?
- Do you have space that could be utilized by emergency management, first responders, or volunteers for preparedness training or exercises?
- Do you have a large parking lot that could be used as a staging area during response?
- If you are in an unaffected area, could you offer free or reduced price admission to community members displaced by a disaster?
- How might your facility support nearby facilities in preparedness and response?
- Could you host or help organize a meeting with nearby facilities and emergency management?
- Do you have personnel or equipment that could be utilized to assist nearby facilities in response or recovery? Please note: Response efforts must go through emergency management.
- Are you able to offer remote assistance such as social media monitoring, guidance on regulatory paperwork, etc. to affected facilities?
If you are just getting started with planning, consider looking to our Contingency Planning Modules for more industry specific information. Additional information on crisis communication plans for businesses is available on ready.gov.
Do 1 Thing, a non-profit organization that aims to build more disaster resilient communities, asks the community to do one “thing” to enhance preparedness each month.