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Do We Rely Too Much on Nonprofits for Recovery Efforts?

Do We Rely Too Much on Nonprofits for Recovery Efforts?

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Nonprofit agencies are an integral component of emergency management. Without their assistance, some important elements of emergency management would be missing.

Resource management, for example, is often considered a major element of emergency management through the donations of goods and money during a disaster. While donations have always seemed supplemental to what the government provides, have Americans become dependent on nonprofit assistance?

Nonprofits like the American Red Cross, for instance, provide supplies and help with the management of a disaster. This help is incredibly important to emergency managers at a disaster scene.

Volunteers, Donations and Resources from Nonprofits Are Also Essential in Disaster Recovery

Large-scale emergencies need nonprofit volunteers, donations and resources to assist with recovery efforts. Without these resources and services, it can take much longer for a community to recover from a disaster, which has long-lasting effects such as the destruction or damage of utilities, homes, roads and hospitals.

For instance, volunteerism is important because volunteers provide extra resources and manpower to emergency services. Volunteer ambulance services, for example, are certainly an important asset to towns and cities that require 911 emergency services for their residents.

Also, a recent article published by Tampa Bay Times noted that donations following Hurricane Michael were not as generous as they once were. That had a negative impact on disaster recovery. Certainly, emergency management has become dependent on this important source of assistance.

But nonprofits can only help as far as their resources permit. In the future, it will become particularly important to determine what mechanisms can take the place of nonprofits to help communities recover better and faster after a large-scale disaster.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four Master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, History, a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is also trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard and a Lifeguard Instructor. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and also serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.