FEMA encourages people to plan, budget, and save to prepare for a disaster. The financial resilience messaging is successful because of the strong relationships that FEMA has developed with partners. These partnerships, both within and outside the federal government, have helped community-based organizations (CBOs) and government agencies build effective tools and strategies to support their communities. Through these partnerships, which reach far beyond FEMA’s traditional stakeholders, FEMA has also been able to prepare individuals and CBOs for a wide variety of emergencies, including navigating unemployment challenges during the pandemic to sharing flood insurance information to rebuild after a storm.
Recently, FEMA had the opportunity to partner with the American Public Works Association (APWA) on financial resilience. In an article written for the September issue of APWA Reporter, the Association’s monthly magazine, Chad Gorman, FEMA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for National Preparedness, describes FEMA resources and tools to help with financial preparedness.
The magazine reaches more than 100,000 public works officials at the state, local, and federal levels. FEMA’s partnership with APWA is critical as these officials connect with millions of people and many organizations that will benefit from preparedness resources.
Later this month, on September 16, FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) will host a webinar with its partners at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to highlight National Preparedness Month. The webinar will share real-world examples and tools that can help CBOs better financially prepare. This event, scheduled for 1:00-1:30 p.m. ET, will offer an engaging discussion. We encourage you to register and participate to learn what free services these federal partners have to offer to ensure your financial safety.
FEMA also recognizes the importance of working closely with our Nation’s service members and veterans to ensure their financial security. On September 23, ICPD will partner with America Saves and Military Saves, campaigns managed by the Consumer Federation of America, for a Facebook Live event. The half-hour program highlights the importance of financial resilience for emergencies and disasters for service members and the general public. For further information, please visit the pages for the agencies mentioned in this article.
In addition to the military, FEMA partners with many nonprofits to pass along tips to their financial counselors and members. For example, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education presented a webinar today, September 3, titled “Preparing for the True Cost of Disaster.” The program was designed to give financial counselors resources to help those they serve better prepare for and recover from disasters. Be sure to check out October’s newsletter on where to watch the recorded session.
In a great example of partnership, FEMA partnered with Operation HOPE in 2004 to develop the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), an emergency financial planning tool. Since the initial collaboration, FEMA has worked with Operation HOPE to update the EFFAK, including creating fillable forms to make it easier for the public to organize their household, medical, and financial documents. In the coming year, a new webinar series will be developed highlighting animated videos that walk individuals through each section of the EFFAK, making it simpler for the public to navigate the tool. Stay tuned for more information!
To better highlight the importance of financial resilience, FEMA partners with the Consumer Federation of America during America Saves Week in late February and early March, and the Financial Literacy Education Commission during National Financial Capability Month every April on various events. Please keep an eye out for more information about these events early next year.
By implementing financial preparedness activities that help individuals become more resilient, as well as sharing free tools, tips, and information — from organizing financial records to buying the right insurance — FEMA’s partnerships spread the message of financial readiness. Whether facing a hurricane or pandemic, this lays the foundation for a culture of preparedness on which individuals, families, and communities can build to ensure a healthier financial future.
Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting FEMAfirstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here.