Press Release

NAACP Releases Toolkit–“In the Eye of the Storm: A People’s Guide to Transforming Crisis and Advancing Equity in the Disaster Continuum” 

September 26, 2018

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       Media contact: Malik Russell 

BALTIMORE (September 26, 2018)–Today, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announces the release of In the Eye of the Storm: A People’s Guide to Transforming Crisis and Advancing Equity in the Disaster Continuum Toolkit.  The “eye” refers to how some communities, due to pre-existing vulnerabilities, find themselves more in the crosshairs than others. And it also refers to the need for watchful vigilance as we document and take action on inequities.  This 190-page manual prepares frontline communities to be first responders in disasters as well as to serve as monitors for equity in disaster response, and to advance an equitable disaster policy platform.  

NAACP believes the key to adequate and equitable disaster preparedness and recovery is training and planning,” said Katherine T. Egland, Chair, National Board of Directors Environmental and Climate Justice Committee. “This toolkit provides guidance on taking action to ensure that each phase of the disaster continuum–from mitigation to preparedness to response, relief, recovery, and redevelopment–is rooted in human and civil rights.”

Recognizing the inequities along the entire disaster continuum, from differential protective levee fortification, to who gets served first in the disaster aftermath, to the ICE raids that have happened in post-disaster contexts, to gentrification and displacement that can result from disaster capitalism, the NAACP sees disaster justice as a core focus in our civil rights agenda,”said Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “Components of the In the Eye of the Storm Toolkit include: Disaster Policy and Governance Framework, How to Start a Community Emergency Response Team, Hosting a Community Visioning Session, Establishing a Community Advisory Board, Civil and Human Rights In Emergency Management Monitoring Tool, Partnership Matrix of What Agencies/ Organizations Do What in Disasters, Disaster Management Resource List, and more.”

“In January, the NAACP Florida State Conference made sure that 28 of our units were trained as Community Emergency Response Teams under FEMA.  We then issued a challenge for all the NAACP State Conferences to follow in our footsteps,” said Adora Obi Nweze, President NAACP Florida State Conference and Chair, NAACP Emergency Management Taskforce.  With the release of this toolkit that provides guidance on setting up a CERT, we re-issue the challenge! Katrina, Maria, Irma, and now Florence, as well as the wildfires out west and the tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest….all of these disasters and the impacts on our communities,  tell us in no uncertain terms that we have to be prepared! We implore you to please join us in taking advantage of this toolkit to get geared up and start your state and local NAACP Community Emergency Response Teams, before disaster finds itself at your doorstep.”

The In the Eye of the Storm: A People’s Guide to Transforming Crisis and Advancing Equity in the Disaster Continuum Toolkit can be downloaded from the NAACP website by clicking HERE. 



Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.