Earthquake Preparedness Grants for Schools

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Find out about four grants funding earthquake preparedness at schools.

Since September is National Preparedness Month, this article pays tribute to earthquake preparedness. In addition, Great ShakeOut earthquake drills occur the third Thursday of October.

Your first order of business is to consort with local, state, and federal emergency response agencies. These agencies have detailed plans in place for earthquake preparedness. Your school is just one part of the overall picture.

Then, there are four avenues to secure grant monies for earthquake preparedness:

  1. Corporate foundations
  2. Federal government
  3. State government
  4. Private foundations

Let’s chop our way through this thicket of grants.

1) Corporate Foundation – State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants. State Farms’ motto is, “We make it our business to be like a good neighbor, helping to build safer, stronger and smarter communities across the United States.” State Farm funds two program areas: disaster preparedness and disaster recovery. State Farm only awards grants to programs with a strong community outreach element. Your local Parent Teachers Association (PTA) is the perfect community outreach tool.

2) Federal Government – AmeriCorps State and National Grants. The first funding priority for AmeriCorps is Disaster Services; improving community resiliency through disaster preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. Most federal government grants are straight forward and extremely competitive. Use AmeriCorps mission, “To strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service,” as your catalyst to write a winning grant.

3) State Government – California Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Use California’s proactive approach to “reduce loss of life and property.” California defines mitigation as “taking action now — before the next disaster — to reduce human and financial consequences later.”  Take your own action and research your state grant opportunities.

4) Private Foundation – Coastal Bend Community Foundation Grants. One of Coastal Bend’s focus areas is Disaster Relief; local school districts are eligible to apply for “projects outside of their basic/core services.” High priority is given to requests that are collaborative and focus on new solutions to old problems. A helpful hint is to collaborate with your local sheriff, fire department and other first responders prior to writing your grant.

Are you ready?

About the Author

Judy Riffle, Ed.D, is a former teacher, university mentor, and K-12 central office administrator with degrees in special education, Deaf education and educational leadership. She was a school district Director of Federal and State Programs in Arizona, including additional hats as a grant writer/manager, English Language Learner Director, Homeless Student Liaison, technology committee facilitator, fundraiser and teacher professional development coordinator. Dr. Riffle began writing state, federal, corporate and foundation grants in 2008 for a school district, and branched out to independent grant consulting in 2011. Since 2012, she has served on six federal grant review panels. Encompassing over 20 years of experience in the field of education, she also serves on the Grant Professionals Association Grant News Publications Subcommittee, Grant Professionals Foundation Marketing Committee, the GPF Silent Auction Committee, and several nonprofit Governing Boards.

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