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Crisis Preparedness Plan

United Ways of Kansas Crisis Preparedness Plan

Introduction/Purpose of Plan

This United Ways of Kansas Crisis Preparedness Plan is intended to establish procedures and guidelines for responding to emergencies that are of a magnitude that can cause a significant disruption of the functions of all or portions of Kansas. This plan depicts the basic roles and responsibilities of United Ways of Kansas and personnel during crisis situations.


This plan outlines the preparation, response and recovery of United Ways of Kansas personnel and resources for crisis situations. This Crisis Preparedness Plan is consistent with established practices relating to coordination of emergency response actions. Nothing in this plan shall be constructed in a manner that limits the use of good judgment and common sense in matters not foreseen or covered by the elements of the plan.


This Crisis Preparedness Plan is predicated on a realistic approach to the problems likely to be encountered during a major crisis or disaster. Hence, the following assumptions are made and should be used as general guidelines in such an event.

  • An emergency or disaster may occur at anytime of the day or night, weekend, or holiday, with little or no warning.
  • The succession of events in an emergency or disaster is not predictable; therefore, published operational plans, such as this plan, should serve only as a guide and a checklist, and may require modification in order to meet the requirement of the emergency.
  • An emergency or a disaster may be declared if information indicates that such conditions are developing or probable.
  • It is the responsibility of each United Way to carry out procedures to secure and protect their staff and facility through the development of individual Business Continuity Plans.

Business Description

The United Ways of Kansas primary role is to provide networking between United Ways, and to encourage collaborations between United Ways and other governmental and nonprofit human organizations in shared efforts to build stronger communities. A natural role for the group is to coordinate the United Way system in Kansas in responding to crisis.


Coordination is important because assets of United Way organizations vary from one United Way to another. Typically, assets of and resources available to larger United Ways are greater than those available to smaller United Ways. Their ability to assist other communities in crisis recovery varies as well. This plan takes this matter into consideration.

Administrative/Operational Support

  • A contact list consisting of all United Ways in Kansas with emergency contact information to include work, home and cell numbers will be compiled and updated regularly by the Treasurer of the United Ways of Kansas.
  • If a disaster is anticipated to affect Kansas on a Friday or the day before a holiday, and it appears that a Watch may be issued for parts of Kansas during the weekend or holiday, the designee from the United Way of the Plains, will be particularly alert and accessible to the potential of changing conditions. All personnel with assignments herein will take a copy of the Plan home, and be prepared to carry out assignments as directed.
  • United Way of the Plains(UWP) will be responsible for making an initial assessment of any event and make a reasonable attempt to contact the affected United Way and President of United Ways of Kansas. If circumstances warrant the UWP President will make every effort to convene a call of Kansas United Ways within 4 hours of the event. Once initial contact has been made, a set time and methodology will be determined whereby daily (or other intervals as determined by the parties) contacts and updates will be made.
  • Each local United Way in a disaster area shall be responsible for notifying United Way of America and United Way of Kansas President concerning personal safety status of staff and provide an operational phone number.

Communication/Public Relations/Media

  • The United Ways of Kansas will share responsibilities as it relates to communications and media. The United Way of the Plains will serve as lead on creation and development of press releases, etc. Each United Way then has the responsibility to localize and submit to their local media outlets (newspaper, radio, cable, etc). Those United Ways in Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita, as well as, Joplin, MO have additional responsibilities given their proximity to major television markets.

Resource Development/Fundraising

  • United Ways of KS Disaster Fund will be the name given to any joint fund established in the event of a catastrophic event. The purpose for the funds generated through collective efforts is to support and promote long-term recovery in the citizens of the particular town(s), city (ies) or region that was impacted. United Way of the Plains will act as the fiscal agent for any fund that is established.
  • Fund determination – to determine whether or not the Statewide Disaster fund will be established, the Association President, United Way of the Plains President and the President of the locally impacted United Way will have a conference call as soon as possible. Any of these members can request the call. This group will share whatever information is available and make a decision to open or not open the fund. Considerations should include but not be limited to: number of homes impacted, percentage of the community impacted, socioeconomic status of impacted residence, local United Way presence, frequency of events, number of recent events and United Way and local community capacity.

Shared Resources

Where possible, local United Ways will support impacted United Ways in the following ways:

  • Provide workspace to maintain operations
  • Staffing assistance for both disaster related work and or day to day operations
  • Provide adequate cellular or hard line telephones
  • Provide computer, Internet and email access
  • Provide technology assistance including:
    • Case Management systems
    • Field communication devices
    • Volunteer management software
    • Fundraising software

NOTE: In the event that a disaster occurs in a town, city or area that is unserved by a United Way, every effort will be made to collectively respond to the citizens of that area.

2-1-1 Database

It is the collective responsibility of local United Ways to keep the 2-1-1 database updated. This becomes increasingly important yet more difficult in the quickly changing disaster environment. Every United Way, especially those closest in proximity to the event should strive to populate the 2-1-1 database with pertinent information to response and recovery resources and efforts.

Local United Ways should understand their local emergency manager’s use of the vulnerable needs registry in advance and encourage local citizens to participate.

Bi-Lingual Needs

It is recognized that we serve a diverse population of citizens in Kansas. To that end, all United Ways will strive to mobilize resources (volunteer translators, etc) to effectively address the needs of this population in the event of a crisis. Additionally, United Way of the Plains will act as a liaison with United Way of America to tap resources that they may have available.

Annual Review

This plan should be reviewed and revised annually at a meeting of the United Ways of Kansas. Additionally, the Association should annually conduct a table top drill to practice the disaster response plan.