What to Expect from Season 3 of the How to Disaster Podcast
“The only way through this is together.” -Jennifer Thompson
We’ve come so far! And we did it together!
Thank you ever so much for being with us until this moment.
In Season 1 & 2, we’ve met incredible people who faced life-threatening and terrifying wildfires and yet proved themselves resilient and selfless emergent leaders. We’ve also learned priceless lessons on the power of community, being prepared as a family, and living with wildfires. But the learning isn’t over!
Now, we enter a new year and a new season. In this episode, Jennifer breaks down the goals of the How to Disaster Podcast and exciting features you’ll surely love! This season, we are launching Take 5’s, where the most memorable lessons, best moments, and inspiring messages from your favorite episodes are condensed in 5-10 minutes clips. Tune in as Jennifer shares what you can expect from Season 3!
- 00:41: We’ve Come This Far!
- 02:38: What to Expect From Season 3
- 04:41 The Goals
01:09: “It’s safe to say that we’re getting the hang of it. It’s a little slow, but it is sure.” –Jennifer Gray Thompson
01:32: “The wildfires devastated communities and created turning points in the lives of so many people. But they also provided opportunity for emergent leaders and to show all the rest of us how to actually do disaster and how to heal.” -Jennifer Gray Thompson
04:32 “Local leadership is incredibly important on how you actually lead and rebuild post disaster.” -Jennifer Gray Thompson
06:18 “The only way through this is together.” -Jennifer Gray Thompson
Meet Your Host:
Jennifer Gray Thompson is a lifelong resident of Sonoma Valley in Northern California. She attended Santa Rosa Junior College and graduated from Dominican University in 2001 with degrees in English and History. After teaching high school for 10 years, Jennifer went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy. Postgraduate school, Jennifer worked for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. After the devastating fires in the North Bay of San Francisco in October 2017, she accepted a position as Executive Director of the newly formed 501c3 nonprofit Rebuild NorthBay Foundation (RNBF), an organization dedicated to helping the region rebuild better, greener, safer, and faster. In summer of 2021, RNBF created After the Fire USA in response to the prevalence of massive megafires in response to climate change and wildland imbalances. Our tagline remains “Recover. Rebuild. Reimagine.”
As CEO of this evolutionary organization, Jennifer expanded her commitment to help communities navigate the aftermath of wildfires not only for the short term, but also for the longterm slog that is rebuilding post-disaster. Jennifer and her team are committed to equitable and resilient recoveries for every community, regardless of their ability to pay. ATF USA does not charge communities for their services and primarily acts as a support for locally led and designed recoveries. ATF USA has a thriving resiliency program called “Before the Fire” that is the lead agency for nearly $10M is state and federal grants for wildlands fuel mitigation programs. The mission of After the Fire USA is to help communities across the American West navigate wildfire disasters and build resiliency before the fire. Jennifer is nationally recognized as a leader in the space of wildfire and has presented at several national conferences on the issue by invitation of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, HAC, Fannie Mae, Brownsfield, Smart Cities, FEMA, and many more. She is cofounder of CANVAS, an association of professional leaders in disaster working together to “listen locally, act regionally, reform nationally.” Jennifer is the creator and host of the “How to Disaster” podcast, which highlights proven and effective leaders with great ideas in the space of disaster. She is on the board of directors of La Luz Center, a nonprofit serving primarily the Latino community in Sonoma Valley.
Jennifer Gray Thompson: Welcome to the very first episode of Season 3 of the How to Disaster Podcast where we help you recover, rebuild and reimagine. I am Jennifer Gray Thompson, and I’m the CEO of After the Fire. Today, I’d like to talk to you about what to expect from this season of the show and what we’re working on.
“It’s safe to say that we’re getting the hang of it. It’s a little slow, but it is sure.” -Jennifer Thompson
First off, I cannot believe we’ve come this far. When we first began the podcast, you ran into a few problems, a huge learning curve. Even one time I forgot to hit a record for an entire episode and my guest was recording from Australia. And shout out to Renae Hanvin to the community for being the kind of colleague and friend, each of us actually have in our lives and we are learning something new. Because certainly, this was not a comfortable place for me at all in the beginning. It’s safe to say that we’re getting the hang of it. It’s a little slow, but it is sure.
“The wildfires devastated communities and created turning points in the lives of so many people. But they also provided opportunity for emergent leaders and to show all the rest of us how to actually do disaster and how to heal.” -Jennifer Gray Thompson
Seasons 1 and 2 brought you guests from around the world who have special experience with disaster. Some of our guests were directly affected by wildfire and lost their homes like Gary Jones from Woolsey Fire. Jocksana Corona from the Alameda Fire. Peter Alan from the Tubbs Fire, and Charles Brooks from the Camp Fire. The wildfires in California and Oregon devastated their communities and were turning points in the lives of so many people. But they also provided this sort of opportunity for emergent leaders and to show all the rest of us how to actually do disaster and how to heal. Maybe you caught some of our shows with the public sector officials by public sector local government like Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, Napa County Supervisor Bella Ramos, or Sonoma County’s Tennis Wick who heads up the Permit Resource Department. Those are actually really important people to talk to you because they actually intersect some of our other things that we talked about, like why and how would you organize a community after a disaster, and why and how can local government interface with those community organizations to ensure that your recovery is better, safer, greener and faster.
We’ve had many more incredible guests in over 40 episodes before today, all of which you can find online on YouTube and where most podcasts are found, and at our website afterthefireusa.org.
For this season, we’re going to be working hard to continue to host some amazing individuals from around the country with experience and information related to disaster. We have authors, air quality specialists, sustainability professionals and more and more than that already lined up with other guests in the works.
Alongside these conversations, we are newest form a content where we cut some of our best moments and informative guests from prior episodes. We’re going to group those similar messages together, we’re calling them Take 5’s. They’re 5 to 10 minute episodes for a little more targeted or focus messaging to assist the audience to get the most out of the message.
One of the things that’s really important to us in our organization, After the Fire, and in all of our work is that we meet survivors where they’re at, which means that you may not have the capacity to listen to a 60 minute episode on debris removal in month one, but you may really need that information by month three. You may not be ready to hear about contractors, or even to relive another person’s wildfire story until maybe month four or month 18.
“Local leadership is incredibly important on how you actually lead and rebuild post disaster.” -Jennifer Gray Thompson
And our goal, again, is to really meet you where you’re at and with the time that you have. Part of what’s very different about our organization is that we are outcomes based, like we know that local leadership is incredibly important on how you actually lead, and rebuild post disaster. And our goal is to really just give you ideas and adaptable systems and ways to actually ensure that disaster affected communities are not beginning at the beginning, because that’s how we certainly felt in 2017 and it was, just it was way harder than it needed to be. That’s our goal here with How to Disaster Podcast is to, how can we make this easier for you, the listener, to actually get to the other side? And then how can we actually share your best practices and what you’ve learned along the way? We’re all in a learning phase, and we are at the beginning of what The Nature Conservancy calls the determinant decade. And we fully anticipate that the next, at least 10 years of our lives, we lean so hard into how it is to do disaster. We might be able to get to the other side, at least in wildfire, we might be able to get to the point where our wild lands are managed, our housing is built sustainably or fortified in some ways, and that we can live alongside wildfire.
“The only way through this is together.” -Jennifer Gray Thompson
I really want to thank you for spending this time with me. It’s a lot of time and it’s a lot of lessons, and I am often humbled and amazed by the people that I bring to you, so I hope that you find them interesting. And if you do have an idea for a guest, please do contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Reach out to me and to my team, and we are more than happy to hear from you.
I want to thank you once again for joining us on Season 3 of the How to Disaster Podcast, where we help you recover, rebuild and reimagine. And our main lesson is that the only way through this is in fact together. Thank you.