BOLDplanning learned this week that FEMA has officially launched a new preparedness training course for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). The self-guided online course, entitled “Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs,” or OPEN, is “designed to empower CBOs to prepare for incidents and increase resilience in the face of a disaster.” According to FEMA, the OPEN training will walk participants through 10 preparedness actions. They are as follows:

  1. Understand risks
  2. Mitigate risks
  3. Identify the people you serve
  4. Determine essential activities
  5. Consider the supply chain
  6. Safeguard critical information
  7. Establish a communications plan
  8. Cross-train key individuals
  9. Formalize plans
  10. Regularly test and update plans

CBOs, as you know, play a huge role in the daily lives of millions of Americans. They are the social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, formal and informal community groups, shelters, and houses of worship that make communities stronger, and ultimately more resilient. And, given recent events, i.e., hurricanes, wildfires, civil unrest, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic—they are now more important (and needed) than ever. 

Just ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As published on the agency’s website, “CBOs can play a vital role in maintaining community morale and cohesion.” Further, “they can also serve as a crucial link between communities and local health and other officials, providing insight about the feasibility and acceptability of proposed mitigation strategies and informing authorities about resources and needs in their communities.” 

Learn how you can empower your CBO to prepare for disasters (like the coronavirus pandemic) by taking part in FEMA’s new preparedness training course, OPEN. Visit today!