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February 25 2014

HOPE Stakeholder Report : Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

On 13 November 2013 Operation HOPE (HOPE) met with our stakeholders at the HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer in Atlanta. In order to continue to strengthen our programs we asked for feedback. Our stakeholders include funding partners, volunteer partners, educators, individual volunteers, clients, students and community members. The HOPE Stakeholder Meeting gave us the opportunity to convene this impressive group of individuals for the sole purpose of strengthening our programs so more individuals can gain financial dignity.

Below you will find the main points/issues discussed in the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery breakout session. We will post the discussions from the last breakout session in the coming weeks. HOPE will use this information to continue to strengthen our programs.

Session Chair:

Barry Scanlon

Senior Vice President, Witt O’Brien’s

Co-Chair, HOPE Coalition America Advisory Board

  • The goal is about individual and community economic recovery

  • Work opportunities in a community that has been struck by a disaster is very limited

  • Communities need to be able to rebuild the services and locations that are important to community members to be considered recovered

  • Locations like HOPE Centers provide a place to work, gain resources and to feel at home

  • Access to capital after a disaster is vital 

  • Homeowners insurance can go sky high after a disaster to the point of not being affordable

  • Disease in the areas that are affected by a major disaster needs to be addressed and placed at a high priority

  • HOPE is working with the Surgeon General to include this aspect of disaster relief

  • Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is very important, but need to focus on how to get this out there and in the hands of people who know how to use it
  • Nobody can bring your financial info to you like they can water and food

  • Not all disasters become federal disasters so you cannot count on the federal assistance and need to be prepared yourself

  • Need to get more people to get this disaster financial preparedness information and get prepared

  • Place the info on a flash drive or in the cloud for use later and not simply in a file cabinet that can be destroyed by a fire or flood

  • It is easier to get signatures before the storm!!!  

  • It is important to have some cash on hand as ATMs might not be working and banks might be closed after a disaster

  • Deeds for property correctly filed is very important and HOPE can help with this process

  • The main question is how to engage individuals so they are motivated to take action so they truly are prepared for the disaster

  • Non-Sufficient Fund fees at banks and credit unions can be very damaging to an individual and their account after a disaster so it is very important to set processes in place before the disaster and to communicate with your local bank or credit union following a disaster

  • Government shut downs are a disaster for many people
  • Strong component is needed for medical treatment, recovery and replacement of medicine

Please keep these great suggestions coming. To provide your ideas on ways to improve HOPE programs click on the following link and fill out the short survey. Thank you.