FEMA Publishes New Whole Community Guide

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently published A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management:  Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action.  This Guide outlines the elements of a community-based plan for emergency response.  It “…provides an overview of core principles, key themes, and pathways for action that have been synthesized from a year-long national dialogue around practices already used in the field.  While this is not a guide or a ‘how-to’ document, it provides a starting point for those learning about the approach or looking for ways to expand existing practices and to begin more operational-based discussions on further implementation of Whole Community principles.”

The document focuses on the practical elements of public-private partnerships that enable participants to reach an agreement and institutionalize it through cooperative legal processes.  In one example, Florida’s business and industry team is showcased as a successful approach to building community resilience.  As the Guide states, “This dedicated private sector team is composed of various state agencies/organizations and business support organizations. The purpose of this team is to coordinate with local, tribal, state, territorial, and Federal agencies to provide immediate and short-term assistance for the needs of business, industry, and economic stabilization, as well as long-term business recovery assistance.  The private sector team’s preparedness and response assistance may include accessing financial, workforce, technical, and community resources.  Local jurisdictions in the state are also incorporating this concept into their planning processes. Such partnerships help get businesses back up and running quickly after a disaster so they can then assist with the response and recovery efforts.”

You can view and/or download the Guide by going to the FEMA website at http://www.fema.gov/ and entering FDOC 104-008-1 / December 2011 in the Search Block.