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Perspectives

Karen Baker: Resilient podcast

Disaster preparedness takes a village

How can a community improve disaster resilience in the face of uncertainty? Karen Baker, senior advisor for disaster volunteering and preparedness for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and architect and co-chair of Listos California, discusses how individuals, communities and philanthropic organizations can show up for each other—playing a major role in disaster preparedness, response, and resiliency.

Personal accountability: A prerequisite to disaster resilience

In 2017, California had an alarming number of federally declared disasters—more than thirty in total. This reality prompted the state to take a deeper look at how it prepares for, responds to, and rallies after a disaster. Research now shows that disaster preparedness efforts and strategies should engage communities on every level—from individual volunteers to social enterprises—to leverage the resources and talents of non-profit and philanthropic organizations.

In this episode, Karen Baker reflects on personal accountability, community volunteerism, and how the private sector can play a role in disaster preparedness and response. After 13 years overseeing California Volunteers, and now the architect and co-chair of Listos California, she shares her perspective on bringing people together and how successes and "crash and burn moments" can be used as a tool to grow for the long game.

I think the first and single most important quality of a resilient leader is that they focus on the long game. It's got to be about the long game…you're going to get through it, and you are going to be resilient.

For Karen, instilling communities with disaster preparedness skills has become the focus. Through the creation of a curriculum that addresses everything from finance and HR to technology and communication, she’s doing her part to make sure that disaster resilience is part of California’s "new normal"—providing for a safer, more resilient future.

Episode highlights

Personal accountability: A prerequisite to disaster resilience

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Learn more about how crises are on the rise, and if leaders are prepared in Deloitte Insights.