QuakeSmart Toolkit: Step 3: How to Build Partnerships within Your Community

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Local businesses and communities depend on each other to prepare for disasters and reduce potential losses of life and property. Hazard mitigation partnerships generate knowledge, solve problems and aid in planning. Examples of collaboration through partnerships include:
  • Developing mitigation project plans;
  • Sharing expertise and access to specialized tools, such as geographic information systems (GIS);
  • Conducting risk assessments of exposures and vulnerabilities;
  • Providing architectural and engineering assistance;
  • Streamlining the permit and approval processes;
  • Conducting community surveys;
  • Hosting mitigation symposiums, business preparedness meetings and professional retrofit seminars;
  • Conducting marketing activities, cooperative extension activities and awareness seminars.

Ideas for Partnerships

Please refer to How to Organize an Employee Awareness Campaign in the QuakeSmart Toolkit. The awareness campaign can be applied to any of your audience groups below.

Internal Partnerships

  • Franchises
  • Subsidiaries
  • Suppliers
  • Subcontractors
  • Employees

External Partnerships

Choose or consider the kind of partnership mentioned above and then apply any of the ideas below:

  • Host a QuakeSmart Lunch 'n Learn or workshop on business mitigation. Use the QuakeSmart Business Toolkit for guidance and present the available QuakeSmart videos to your audience.
  • Create an Earthquake Alliance, either within your company or with other key businesses that may include a hospital, bank, local government officials, fire/police departments, retailers including hardware, grocery and clothing, etc. Together, discuss how an earthquake can impact an entire community and how business mitigation can reduce their risks. (For a successful alliance case study, refer to the Earthquake Country Alliance, based in California.)
  • Use locally recognized events such as an earthquake preparedness month, State ShakeOut campaign and/or national events such as National Preparedness Month, Fire Safety Month or Building Safety Month to kick off your events. The media is more likely to cover your event due to the heightened awareness during these months, which may help boost attendance.
  • Depending on your location, you may work with state or regional earthquake program managers, regional earthquake consortia, seismic safety commissions, committees and councils and other FEMA earthquake partners. For contact information of more than 300 organizations and individuals involved in earthquake mitigation at the federal and state levels and in the non-governmental sector, visit the Directory of FEMA Earthquake Partners.
  • Work with local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or your local school district to encourage children to spread the word. Children are some of the best messengers when it comes to mitigation, safety and preparedness.
  • Use free communication networks: newsletters, website headers and public service announcements.
  • Survey area businesses and assess the costs associated with earthquake mitigation versus potential damage. Present the information gathered to partner stakeholders.
  • Ask partners to designate a Business Mitigation and Earthquake Awareness Day.
  • Post your accomplishments and initiatives on your company's website so others, including prospective community investors, know what your partnership is doing to protect their business investments and build a sustainable community. Also consider social media as an outreach channel.
  • Work with community officials to encourage strong mitigation and emergency response planning at local and state levels and advocate for improvements to public infrastructure including communications, transportation and utilities.

CUSEC website screenshot
Regional Earthquake Consortia, such as the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), can offer additional information and resources for mitigation partnerships or programs. The QuakeSmart Toolkit also offers a list of Valuable Websites and Other Resources (Source: www.cusec.org).

Earthquake Safety Program description from BART website
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System posts updates on their website about the "Earthquake Safety Program" and current construction in progress (Source: www.bart.gov).

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Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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