Module 0.4
The Four Phases of Disaster Readiness Planning

This course is organized into four sections, adapted from the FEMA disaster planning process to the specific needs of public gardens. While each module is presented separately and in sequence, it’s important to remember that disaster planning is an ongoing, evolving process that may require you to consider more than one phase at a time.

In this phase, you’ll determine what resource you need to successfully create your disaster management plan.

  • Who should be involved in creating your garden’s disaster plan and why?
  • What is the scope of your planning efforts?
  • What will the plan include (and not include)?
  • What is the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and how can it help you prepare for a disaster?

This phase involves digging deeper into your garden’s specific context and collections as related to disaster planning. What types of disasters are most likely to impact your garden in the future? Which of your living collections are the highest priority for disaster planning? How can you curate your collections to ensure their short and long-term safety?

In this phase, you’ll use your garden’s list of risks, prioritized collections, associated documentation, emergency contacts, staff and other resources to develop a plan. What mitigation strategies are most appropriate for your high-priority collection? Who will be responsible for different parts of your plan? What resources will you need to put your plan in place?

This phase involves rolling out your plan, making sure it works, and training staff to be ready for disasters. How will you communicate about your plan, and to whom? How can you review, test, and improve your plan regularly? What strategies can you use to keep your plan relevant and useful?