In 2013, a state audit indicated that Oregon’s disaster response plan was inadequate and could result in huge delays in emergency response and lead to difficulties during the recovery phase. The problems are blamed in part on disorganization at the Office of Emergency Management, which is responsible for coordinating emergency response efforts with local and state partners.
Ongoing issues with management turnover and vacant positions had left the Office and the state underprepared should disaster strike. The audit found that there was no strategic plan in place, insufficient or out-of-date policies and procedures, and no funds for employee professional development or training.
In the event of a natural disaster, residents could suffer worse than necessary losses and longer than typical waits for rebuilding projects to get underway or for insurance claims to be processed. For individuals who have lost everything, that could prove disastrous.
However, individuals who work for organizations with employee emergency disaster relief funds can breathe just a little bit easier because there is some help available, even if there is disorganization on a local or state level. Receiving even a small grant can help victims get back on their feet after a tragedy, and make the worst period right after mass devastation just a little bit easier.
Since grants cover expenses not covered by insurance or other aid, there is no concern about “double dipping.” This gives additional comfort to employers and fellow employees who have made donations. A disaster relief fund can be a very effective way to bridge the gap where government assistance fails or otherwise will not cover. This can mean that your fund will be there for employees, helping to “pick up the slack” in the case of an underprepared emergency infrastructure.
Source: Audit finds Oregon’s major disaster plan is incomplete. February 27, 2014. Bandon Western World. http://theworldlink.com/bandon/news/audit-finds-oregon-s-major-disaster-plan-is-incomplete/article_3351d144-9f2c-11e3-82e1-001a4bcf887a.html