Providing Structure to Your Network
The Planning Committee of an Alliance for Response forum will often morph into the Steering Committee of a nascent local assistance network. The volunteers who coordinated the forum are passionate about the protection of cultural and historic resources and are eager to engage both the local cultural community and the emergency management community. But passion alone will not sustain a network. Keeping your membership engaged and growing is vital to maintaining a vibrant network. And by conveying your existence to your local community through outreach, you can expand your membership.
As your network matures, governance policies can help provide a structure and a means to ensure the network continues even if individual members do not. A mission statement
defines your network’s purpose and primary objectives. A vision statement
conveys values of your network. Strategic goals
provide a roadmap for the organization with clearly defined objectives and activities. By-laws
help your network map out its purpose and how it will go about its business. A mutual aid agreement or memorandum of understanding (MOU)
between organizations provides a pre-established mechanism to quickly obtain emergency support, which can include personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services. Here are some examples and ideas to help shape your local assistance network.
Org Charts and Committee Person Descriptions
Develop outreach materials to recruit new members, engage emergency managers, and support requests for funding.
Develop a website to communicate with your community and colleagues.
Mission and Vision Statements
Mutual Aid Agreements / Memoranda of Understanding
Annexes to Emergency Operations Plans