Facility Dude

YMCA of the USA and FEMA partner to improve disaster preparedness and response

By Kate Donnelly
Mar 05, 2015

Clubs, Safety and Risk Management, Industry News

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When it comes to the safety of a facility, managers and administrators can't be too careful. Any resources that can help facility managers both formulate a plan and implement it in the event of an emergency are welcome.

YMCA of the USA and FEMA partner to improve disaster preparedness and response For some facilities this may be more true than ever. High-traffic or high-risk buildings such as hospitals, schools and community centers introduce an additional level of concern. Facility managers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of patients, children and other occupants. In light of this, some partnerships between government organizations and facilities may help ease the burden.

FEMA steps in for the Y

YMCA of the USA is one of the largest and most influential organizations dedicated to community involvement and personal health in the nation. It makes perfect sense, then, that this organization is the subject of a federal partnership to increase disaster preparedness. The Y is teaming up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster response across multiple states and facilities. This mutually beneficial partnership capitalizes on the strengths of each organization to help augment the efforts of the other. The Y has a presence in 10,000 communities across the U.S., and thus is one of the largest single resources with a direct line to community members. This connection to the community is valuable for FEMA, which in turn brings its own connections and relationships with various disaster response authorities across the country.

"The Y can be a resource for our neighbors during disasters, and it's critical that we build partnerships and make strategic plans before and after potential emergencies arise to ensure we are best serving our communities and their needs," Kevin Washington, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA said.

Using FEMA as a resource

FEMA's newly minted partnership with the Y is a huge undertaking, but it's far from the only instance of the government agency reaching out to communities across the country for the sake of disaster preparedness. In fact, FEMA maintains a library of resources online that are publicly accessible that can provide valuable information on effective disaster planning techniques. The agency even outlines existing examples of public-private partnerships that exist between FEMA and other companies as models that can be referenced for those facilities and networks that are interested in forming similar alliances.

Emergencies are a community-wide concern. Rather than trying to localize your facility's crisis response plan, it's better to make use of the community-centric resources that are available to achieve the best results and keep everyone safe in the event of a disaster.

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