If you’ve ever worked for or with a small nonprofit, you’ll agree that they often work miracles. Many offer an impressive list of resources and services to stakeholders on a shoestring budget with a small, but tenacious, staff. When it comes to nonprofits with an emergency preparedness mission –helping organizations, neighborhoods and residents plan and prepare for the unthinkable—their responsibilities are amplified because when an emergency strikes, their role shifts from preparedness to response. What they do- their skill, expertise and passion – is critical to the recovery of our communities. SF CARD (Community Agencies Responding to Disaster) is one such organization that goes above and beyond to support organizations in their journey to become prepared to continue providing critical services to vulnerable populations after a disaster.
More About SF CARD
Since in 1994, SF CARD has focused on providing the tools necessary for organizations to become more prepared and, ultimately, resilient. They provide a suite of no-cost services that include training and planning to develop disaster resilient organizations; organizing exercises and drills to practice how organizations will respond during an emergency; coordinating and networking organizations in advance of a disaster, building the social capital needed for a more collaborative and speedy recovery.
Alessa Adamo, SF CARD’s Executive Director – who also happens to be a retired Air Force Reserves Master Sergeant and novelist – along with her staff have worked tirelessly to meet some ambitious goals and they have certainly succeeded! In 2011, SF CARD:
- Obtained the 501(c)(3) designation, making them a formalized nonprofit, charitable organization.
- Integrated the health sector into CARD’s established services by partnering with the SF Department of Public Health to provide HICS (Healthcare Incident Command System) training.
- Conducted a ShakeOut table-top exercise at the San Francisco Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and had a real life earthquake surprise them half way through!
- Was honored with the BRMA (Business Recovery Managers Association) Award for Excellence for Community Disaster Preparedness as a result of their cross-sector preparedness work.
How DEM Works with SF CARD
Throughout the years, SF CARD has been a keystone organization in the San Francisco preparedness community, and one of SFDEM’s most important community “Partners in Preparedness”. SF CARD has proven to be invaluable in providing DEM and the City with awareness of what organizations and communities need to become prepared and resilient.
SF CARD works closely with DEM during planned and actual emergencies at the Non-profit / Faith based Representative position at the EOC’s Community Branch. In this role, they collect information and identify community needs and available resources to ensure that these community capabilities can effectively be brought to bear in times of crisis. In that seat, SF CARD and other organizational volunteers serve as a conduit for community groups that have no pre-event representation with emergency management. SF CARD is also an anchor organization within the SF Citizen Corps Council, and has taken the lead in reorganizing the San Francisco VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).
These are only a few ways that they work with DEM to prepare communities and organizations. We are fortunate to have such a great organization in our city and as a partner. Thank you SF CARD, for all of your hard work!
Doris Padilla is the Community Liaison at SFDEM. She can be reached via twitter @DorisPad