When Bridges Crumble: Philanthropy’s Role in Disaster

Thursday, March 12, 2020
8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Natural disaster can strike at a moment’s notice and without warning and communities will look to philanthropy for help. Understanding what happens during a natural disaster and how disaster impacts communities is critical in preparing for natural disaster.

This half-day workshop will bring together:

  • Experts in geology to help you understand what Oregonians face living in the Cascadia Subduction Zone and what other natural disasters could occur.
  • Speakers from government, Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (OR/VOAD) and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide critical information about what happens during and after a disaster strikes, the various roles of agencies in response and recovery as communities dig out from the after-math.
  • Leaders will help frame how philanthropy can be prepared and what funders need to expect when everything is crumbling around them.

The day concludes with a panel of experts to share perspectives and answer your questions about being prepared for “the big one.” A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Join GOSW for this exciting, interactive and strategy-provoking workshop!

Speaker Information:

Laura Hall is Communications Coordinator for the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO), which is a partnership of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private-sector stakeholders. She is also Chair of the RDPO’s Disaster Messaging Task Force. Laura has a robust volunteer life, acting as Co-Chair of Parents4Preparedness (P4P) and an Assistant Team Leader for Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Team Program. When she’s not chasing her two small children around, she can frequently be found giving preparedness presentations for schools and community groups.

Susan Romanski, Senior Director for Humanitarian Capacity Building and Global Engagement at Mercy Corps.  Prior to this role, Susan led Mercy Corps’s business continuity and preparedness efforts in the Pacific NW.  Those efforts were designed to help low income and culturally specific groups in the Portland area better understand and prepare for natural disaster risks. 

Susan currently serves as the Vice President of the network Oregon Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (ORVOAD). Over her 20 year career in disaster preparedness and response, Susan has responded to US emergencies such as Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Michael in Florida, as well as overseas emergencies in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Niger, Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, El Salvador, and Mozambique.

Marjan Rotting, Geologist and a Professor of Earth Science at Portland Community College. Marjan is known as “the earthquake lady” because all of her courses include disaster preparedness. Overcoming the fear of knowing what is coming, and finding that the education of preparedness inevitably leads to the confidence of becoming future community leaders is empowering indeed.

Jim White, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, formerly Vice President Operations at MercyCorps has traveled the world helping manage disaster recovery and response. He is a graduate of Temple University (B.S. Engineering Tech) and Indiana University, Bloomington (M.A., Central Eurasian Studies).

Date Thursday, March 12, 2020
Time 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Place NW Health Foundation: 221 NW 2nd Avenue, Third Floor, Portland, OR 97209; 

$80/members; $110/nonmembers


Members must be logged in to register. Log in here, or by clicking “For Members” in the navigation bar above. If you have not set up a username and password, you can do so at gosw.org/membership-registration

Our programs are open to anyone who meets our membership criteria. If you are not currently a member but you qualify and would like to attend, please contact us at info@gosw.org for registration assistance.

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