Building a culture of preparedness alongside faith-based and community organizations is key to improving outcomes for disaster survivors and strengthening the resilience of our communities. A new guide, Engaging Faith-based and Community Organizations: Planning Considerations for Emergency Managers, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), outlines best practices for engaging faith-based and community organizations in emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery to help jurisdictions improve emergency operations capabilities. These groups, in turn, become significant force multipliers, reaching previously underserved communities.
The guide applies lessons learned from emergency managers, faith leaders and community leaders and includes considerations for strengthening whole-community coordination through preparedness activities. It also helps emergency managers identify, connect with, and strengthen community resources by leveraging from the expertise and capacity of faith-based and community organizations. Collaborating with these organizations allows emergency managers access a multitude of local resources and makes it possible for members of the community to contribute to any disaster resilience effort.