Moving to Higher Ground: Potential Roles for Philanthropy in Helping Washington's Communities Cope With Disasters

Moving to Higher Ground: Potential Roles for Philanthropy in Helping Washington's Communities Cope With Disasters

Following major flooding in Lewis County and Southwest Washington in December 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Seattle foundations and the United Way of King County launched the Statewide Disaster Preparedness Assessment for the Philanthropic Sector in Washington. The final report to come out of that initiative, Moving to Higher Ground: Potential Roles for Philanthropy in Helping Washington's Communities Cope With Disasters (72 pages, PDF), finds that although the level of preparedness and the ability to respond to disasters had improved in Washington State over the past two decades, the majority of the state's families, individuals, and businesses were still not fully prepared for emergencies and vulnerable populations continued to be disproportionately affected in every stage of a disaster. Among other things, the report recommends that funders establish systems which make emergency resources available in a more timely manner and work with community organizations to design more effective disaster management plans for vulnerable communities.