NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Allstate and The Allstate Foundation lead efforts to create a better way for our nation to manage catastrophes before they strike. As part of Allstate's commitment to vigilant disaster response, The Allstate Foundation collaborated with the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, in partnership with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) to explore the recovery process and the critical role of non-government organizations (NGOs) in disaster preparedness and response.
The result of the conference is a five-part plan directing local and national policymakers to integrate NGOs into emergency response and recovery policies. The research group recommends immediate action to:
- define and formalize NGO roles and responsibilities
- create guidance on allocation of resources and ensure priority to local nonprofits who are pre-screened and approved to respond to disasters
- increase community capacity to deliver seamless services through NGO partnerships
- improve information exchange among organizations, government agencies and community residents
- pursue a research agenda that focuses on evidence-based implementation
"Allstate and The Allstate Foundation are leaders in catastrophe response, and we are constantly looking for ways to better serve local communities when they need us most – that's what the Good Hands promise is all about," said Vicky Dinges, vice president public social responsibility, Allstate. "Not only do NGOs have a responsibility to help better prepare and protect Americans, they also have the resources and local knowledge to propel recovery from the front lines should a disaster strike."
Research from the project shows that NGO participation helps local authorities overcome common catastrophe response challenges and move from recovery to revitalization. While there are few plans that define their role, NGOs are uniquely positioned to deliver the manpower, information, direct services and financial support needed to build community resilience and weather a manmade or natural disaster.
"Our charge to policy makers is to make connections within their community, leverage the assets of NGOs and improve communication before, during and after a crisis," said Retired Admiral Thad Allen, National Incident Commander, Deepwater Horizon Unified Command and a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. "The Allstate Foundation's work to revitalize neighborhoods in post-Katrina New Orleans and their experience with catastrophe preparedness has informed our research and helped translate this research into action."
The Allstate Foundation works with local community organizations and consumers year-round to help reduce the emotional and physical damage of disasters, and prepare for swift recovery. Research of catastrophe management, like the evaluation of the role of NGOs, is critical to improve community resilience and restore people's lives.
Separately, Allstate partners with ProtectingAmerica.org to raise awareness, educate the public and policy makers and advance a comprehensive, integrated solution that provides more protection at a lower cost for consumers through a privately funded, government sponsored nonprofit catastrophe fund.
Consumers should plan ahead to protect themselves, their families, their homes and their businesses from damage during a disaster. The first step to catastrophe preparation is to conduct or update a home inventory to help speed your recovery after the disaster passes.
For more information, visit www.allstatefoundation.org.
About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people's well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.allstatefoundation.org.
SOURCE The Allstate Foundation