General Preparedness

Get faith-based orgs involved

I suggest you...start including the faith-based organizations in educating citizens about the need to set up a plan, a kit and a mindset. People usually believe what they hear in church and if the pastors/mentors etc. join in the 'chorus' of preparedness it would add some credibility that does not now exist.


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Similar Ideas [ 1 ]


  1. Comment
    Janel Waterhuse

    While I agree that faith leaders are great gatekeepers to a community, I can see some potential problems. Faith leaders have an agenda they must protect which does not always meet with the agenda of public health, emergency management, and government in general. If the faith leader finds the preparedness actions contrary to their beleifs, then he or she will advise the congregation against working with the govenment and you just lost all access to that population.

  2. Comment
    Richard Guzman

    Strongly agree that FBO's play a prominent role in community emergency preparedness. One of the "blind spots" in most church councils is an Emergency Preparedness function - whether it is an advisory body or actual committee. In a community, the church, mosque, temple, etc. is the "lighthouse" for the surrounding residents - the port in the storm. In the face of a disaster that impacts the community and its residents, the one establishment that cannot retreat by shutting its doors or suspending operations (like some business may opt to do) is the place where people go to pray in order to restore their hope. Sometimes, hope is the only asset disaster-stricken survivors have to help them recover.

  3. Comment
    Two Cents

    Churches are critical and I could not agree more with Richard. My church, like so many, mobilized quickly and opened a shelter during hurricane Ike. What I was most amazed at was how quickly and effectively the church engaged other churches, community, and many businesses. The Red Cross was equally impressed. We even had people in part time jobs on day 3. Churches represent the greatest un-tapped potential in this area. However, I do not believe the system effectively leverages these resources.

  4. Comment
    Sandra Blaha

    Faith Communities with Faith Community Nurses are idea to educate their members and surrounding communities about emergency preparedness.

  5. Comment
    Richard Guzman

    Concur Sandra! Another dimension of our church's preparedness culture is to focus on individuals and families by periodically conducting wellness campaigns which includes health screenings. It was originally focused towards our seniors but we realized "individual and family fitness/health" was a major, foundational keystone in overall preparedness. Some folks don't realize how physically taxing an emergency response and recovery situation can be. It's both physically and emotionally draining. The healthier and more physiologically resilient people are - at all ages -the more capable they are to keep going strong in tough situations. Faith Community Nurses are ideal for spearheading this type of program. //rmg

  6. Comment

    I thoroughly support involving the faith based community in emergency planning. They are a valuable resource and in our community they have been very supportive of our plans. If we were to face a large scale event they will be crucial in providing support. They are valued partners in our plans and have been very appreciative of our efforts to try and accommodate (when possible) their particular faith practices. The faith based nurses have also been great at educating their communities and even have made changes in things such as communion delivery that are still in place. Another thing is that the religious leaders are seen as trusted sources of information and if we educate them then our message gets out to populations we may never reach as government entities (vulnerable populations).

  7. Comment
    Brian Froelke

    See Missouri Governor's Faith Based Initiative for some model ideas.

  8. Comment
    Richard Guzman

    The inaugural Faith-Based Missouri team is off to a good start with diverse representation from academia, law enforcement, social services as well as faith leaders. I'm also encouraged to see that the team's "boots on the ground" approach to their work getting their information from faith leaders in their communities; as opposed to taking the bureaucratic approach by studying the problem from behind a desk. The true heroic stories of the faith community are best told by the faith leaders and their congregations. I'll be very interested to hear the team's progress.//rmg

  9. Comment

    I suggest you make one goal to empower private and public sectors and NGOs by providing training and tools, which will enable them to conduct timely and informative outreach strategies to vulnerable populations, within our nation’s diverse communities, during all phases of emergency management.

    In collaboration with local, state, and tribal emergency managers, deployment of FEMA’s External Affairs Reservist and Voluntary Agency Liaison Cadres and local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to support local preparedness outreach strategies and empower communities.

    This FEMA/CERT team will focus on capacity and partnership building with NGOs, private sector, nonprofit organizations, grassroots organizations, elderly and children’s programs, and faith and community based organizations’ leaders. As community champions, who work within the diverse communities, these leaders can identify volunteer trainers to participate in a “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” volunteer training program, which has an accompanied tool kit. We believe this approach to community preparedness, resiliency and sustainability will help “improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards”. (FEMA mission statement)

    These trained volunteers will encourage and enlist the help of area residents to ensure everyone is aware about the importance of preparedness.