New Guide to Help Organizations Prepare for Programmatic Operations During Emergency Response

The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the need for planning and preparedness in public health emergency response. The CDC Foundation has led and supported several emergency responses over the past 10 years, ranging from Ebola to Zika to the opioid crisis. Based on this experience, the CDC Foundation was ready to draw upon lessons learned to address the critical health and safety needs that arose from the beginning of the coronavirus response in January 2020.

To help inform and prepare other organizations in preparing for emergencies, the CDC Foundation has created an Emergency Response Manual for Programmatic Operations. This new handbook provides instruction and recommendations on how an organization can effectively prepare for and respond to emergencies. The manual targets organizations that initiate and lead programs and projects during short- and long-term public health emergencies, including fundraising organizations such as non-profits and foundations.

In addition, the manual provides a benchmark of processes and strategies in implementing a response to a public health emergency that may help inform future work by internal or external stakeholders. Importantly, the manual includes a detailed instructional overview of the key phases for an emergency response: preparedness, activation, in-progress, and close-out as well as addresses key staffing positions essential for successful programmatic operations.

If you are interested in a broader overview of emergency response recommendations for fund-based organizations, you can also visit the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Activation Instructional Handbook for Fundraising Organizations, which was developed and released in 2021.

Hailey Bednar is an emergency response specialist with the CDC Foundation.