NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 26

Outreach by Lorraine Carli

ADVOCACY,
LEGISLATION,
AND PUBLIC
EDUCATION

CRR 101
HOW THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC RESPONSE IS AN IDEAL
EXAMPLE OF COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION

round the world, the

known as a community risk assessment.
coronavirus pandemic
Although this process can initially appear
has placed unprecedented
daunting, it is important to slow down
burdens on first responders
and take the time to explore. Look at
and health care systems,
the data. Talk to stakeholders. Peel away
and has produced a public risk bigger
the layers and get an all-hazards view of
than anything most communities have
the challenges faced by your community
ever faced.
and the capacities that exist to address
The situation has required local
them. The risk assessment is a critical
governments, hospitals, businesses,
first step; if you jump into CRR without
and emergency response agencies to
it, it's likely that you'll just end up wastassess their specific risks to COVID-19
ing time, resources, and opportunities.
and reallocate their limited resources
Adaptive refers to how you define
to minimize its impact. Hospitals have
CRR-the term has many definitions,
CRR is not a single
rearranged space to increase the number
and we need to align around one that
program;
it's a process
of ICU beds; EMS agencies have tweaked
works for all of us. NFPA 1300, Standard
requiring thoughtful
standard protocols to better handle the
on Community Risk Assessment and
decision making
expected surge in patients; and governCommunity Risk Reduction Plan
and engagement
ments have taken steps to restrict
Development, defines CRR as a process
at every step.
citizens from gathering or even moving
to identify and prioritize local risks,
about. These steps, and many others,
followed by the strategic investment of
were taken after a risk analysis revealed
resources to reduce their occurrence and
the dire consequences of doing nothing.
impact. In addition to providing a clear
Whether these officials or agencies
definition of community risk reduction,
know it or not, the process they're undertaking is the very defi- the standard provides important guidance for everyone worknition of community risk reduction (CRR). CRR has emerged as ing to implement rich CRR initiatives.
a much-discussed topic over the last couple of years, showing
Strategic thinking begins with considering what you want
up in countless webinars, conference session titles, and govern- to accomplish with your CRR work and who should be at the
ment grant proposals. For all its promise, though, CRR is a term table to help. Many agencies across the community can supply
that seems to be widely misunderstood, one used as a catch-all valuable input and resources to enhance your all-hazards CRR
for a lot of things that may or may not be connected. I can't tell initiatives. Seek input from stakeholders, invite partners to
you how many times I've been told by fire safety professionals, participate, delegate tasks, and share resources. CRR should
"Oh yes, we do CRR-it's our smoke alarm program." But CRR have a clear identity across communities, not just in the fireis not a single program; it's a process that requires thought- house. Strategic planning and strong partnerships are key
ful decision making and engagement at every step. A true CRR components in the most effective CRR initiatives.
process is valuable both during a pandemic, to prepare for
The CRR process occurring around the world to prevent the
immediate risks, and also in ordinary times, to plan ahead for spread of COVID-19 is something that every community can do
potential community risks.
on an ongoing basis to prepare for a multitude of short- and
One way to understand the fundamentals of developing a long-term risks. It's never too soon to develop, implement, and
meaningful CRR program is through the slogan "Slow down evaluate your plan. For information visit nfpa.org/crr.
to go F.A.S.T.: Fearless, Adaptive, Strategic Thinking." The fearless piece means embracing the data and completing what's LORRAINE CARLI is vice president of outreach and advocacy for NFPA.

MICHAEL HOEWELER

A

26 | NFPA JOURNAL * M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 0

Outreach_05.20_V2.indd 26

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http://www.nfpa.org/crr

NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

Contents
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover1
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover2
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 1
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 2
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 3
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Contents
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 5
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NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover3
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover4
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