03 Jan Good360 Introduces the 6 Phases of Disaster Giving
When it comes to disaster response, Good360 has long advocated for an approach that gets the right goods to the right people at the right time.
We know that this is not an easy thing to do in every disaster. In fact, research shows that up to 60 percent of all product donations are thrown away or not used as intended because they’re not the right goods at the right time. Preventing this kind of waste was one of the driving forces behind the launch of our Resilient Response initiative.
Historically, emergency managers have looked at disasters through a life-cycle framework with four distinct phases: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. This useful framework offers emergency officials a simple way to categorize their work accordingly, from prevention efforts through the long-term recovery process.
As we looked at what donors need to do to maximize the impact of their aid, we found that we could not only leverage the traditional framework, but also take it a step further. In order to more completely encompass activities and best practices related specifically to in-kind giving during disasters — Good360’s core area of focus — we’re introducing a revised disaster giving framework.
Our additional guidelines offer an expanded view of the needs of impacted communities, especially as they relate to getting the right product donations to the right people at the right time. Here is the Good360 framework for in-kind giving during disasters:
Preparedness: Being properly prepared helps mitigate the impact of a disaster on communities. In this phase, products such as hygiene kits, shelter kits, water, soap, emotional care items, bedding, and clean-up supplies are important to have on hand and well stored. Organizations should also consider pre-positioning these items in strategic locations away from disaster-prone areas. In recent years, Good360 has implemented a pre-positioning program to make disaster response more timely and efficient.
Response: During a disaster and in the immediate aftermath, the greatest concern is for the protection of life and property. In terms of product donations, this phase mainly involves helping first-responders create a safe and comfortable place for survivors to shelter in. Critically needed items at this stage include soap, hair care, diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, socks, undergarments, dry baby formula, coloring books and crayons, flashlights, earplugs, and small blankets. Good360 recently established a new partnership with Bombas to distribute their specially-made socks in times of disasters.
Recover: In this phase, survivors are occupied with cleaning up the debris and fixing the damage brought on by the disaster. Needed items for this stage include products that make mucking and gutting, mold remediation, and cleanup easier and safer, such as personal protective equipment (PPE). Useful items include flood buckets, bleach-based cleaners, shovels, industrial mops, cleaning cloths, respirator masks, protective eyewear, gloves, Tyvek suits, tarps, and boots.
After a tornado hit Garland, Texas, we partnered with Arbill and The Goodness Project to send gloves, safety equipment and other cleanup gear to more than 300 volunteers helping families dig out from the damage.
Rebuild: As survivors move beyond the cleanup and recover phase, they are looking to rebuild homes, businesses, and other hard infrastructure. As such, all kinds of construction-related products are needed at this stage, including shingles, insulation, flooring, drywall, sheetrock, tools, lumber, sealant, paint, and trim. In this phase, Good360 often builds coalitions with nonprofit organizations, volunteer groups and corporate donors to not only source the necessary building materials but also bring in professionals who can put on a new roof, install insulation or redo the flooring.
For instance, we worked with GAF to provide roofing shingles for 28 families who needed to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Michael. GAF also provided shingles for dozens of homes damaged by a string of tornadoes in Alabama this past March.
Refurnish: As displaced families move back into their dwellings, they often need to replace most or all of the household goods and furnishings that make a house a home. These items include various pieces of furniture, fixtures, appliances, bedding, mattresses, pillows, rugs and curtains. Our collaboration with Eight Days of Hope to rebuild and furnish flooded homes in Louisiana is an excellent example of how we’ve been able to help at this stage in a disaster.
We also helped 15 teachers and their families in Florida’s Panhandle to refurnish their homes after the devastation of Hurricane Michael. Partnering with All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, we refurnished 30 homes in flood-ravaged Baton Rouge as well as Hurricane Harvey-damaged homes in Houston.
Relive: In this phase, survivors are well into the long-term recovery process. But they may still need items that help them get back to the comforts of everyday life, including school supplies, work and school clothes, toys, games, electronics, and new shoes. With the expense, trauma and disruption that comes from dealing with a disaster, many families (especially from low-income backgrounds) may find it hard to buy these items for themselves. For instance, we recently partnered with StoreBound to provide nearly 50 families in the Florida Keys with toaster ovens, coffee makers, rice cookers and skillets.
By looking at disasters through the lens of this expanded framework, our hope is that corporate donors will be able to better identify the phase or phases where they can make the most impact. Meanwhile, nonprofit organizations can use it to determine how they can step in to help impacted communities get the goods that they need at every stage of a disaster.
Ultimately, our goal remains the same: to get the right goods to the right people at the right time. With this new tool, we hope to galvanize donors to respond more thoughtfully throughout the life cycle of a disaster.
If you are interested in learning more about Good360’s Disaster Recovery work, sign up for our monthly newsletter here.
Make a commitment with Good360 today to provide specific goods at the time when they are most needed — we will ensure your items have maximum impact. If you have goods to donate, contact Jim Alvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.