The Ally: October 2020 – Paul Guichet

Paul Guichet

Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

DISASTERS PREPARATION, RESPONSE & RECOVERY

Hurricane season brings to mind the role of philanthropies and nonprofits in preparation, response, and recovery. As an emergency support function for the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency, the Long-Term Recovery Committee (“LTRC”) is responsible for providing organizational structure and guidance for volunteer and donation management for Harrison County. When any catastrophe strikes, the LRTC supports local jurisdiction policies and procedures in addressing a community’s needs and assessing the condition of impacted areas. While comprehensive in nature, the committee’s strategies are continuously revised as unforeseen potential issues arise.

The LTRC is a collaboration between the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (“GCCF”) and United Way of South Mississippi (“UWSM”). The committee, comprised of 9 local business and community leaders, functions by coordinating with Harrison County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). The team coordinates all volunteers, donations, and services coming into Harrison County to support the Emergency Operations Center and Field Operations.

Essential to the LRTC’s operation are communications in 3 phases: Preparedness Actions, Response Actions, and Recovery Actions. Each phase involves specific skills and knowledge and effective collaboration with supporting agencies at the local, county, state, and federal levels. The coordination of all these agencies is essential to provide seamless service delivery to those affected by the disaster.

The Gulf Coast Volunteer HUB, part of the Mississippi Hub Network, plays a vital role in the LRTC’s communications. The Gulf Coast Volunteer HUB’s “Get Connected” platform provides additional organizational, training, and technical capacity in coordinating volunteers and donations coming into Harrison County.

Our communities will be well-positioned through effective planning, resource management, and teamwork when the next catastrophic event occurs.

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