While we don’t know what the next major disaster might be or where or when it might strike…
We do know that what’s needed is a well-prepared public and trained faith-based volunteers who will be an asset for emergency responders and for the Whole Community.
Based on feedback from Focus Groups, Community Outreach and Forums, the Faith Community Partnering for Emergency Preparedness Project gained the following insights:
- The Faith Community welcomes outreach initiatives by emergency managers, planners and responders
- Emphasizing shared values of caring for those impacted by disasters can help overcome differences
- The Faith Community will take part in emergency response and recovery—they are a resource, but they need preparedness tools and training opportunities
- By joining together, our communities can become stronger
The Faith Community Partnering for Emergency Preparedness Project is starting Phase II with outreach, training and collaboration to strengthen regional capacity-building. The first planned training program will be on Emotional Spiritual Care/Psychological First Aid. We will also help connect members of the Faith Community to local/regional activities of their LEPC/REPC/MMRS as well as training opportunities conducted by organizations including:
- American Red Cross
- Community Emergency Response Team
- Disaster Animal Response Team (DART)
- Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
- The Salvation Army, Emergency Disaster Service
Looking forward to Phase III, the Faith Community Partnering for Emergency Preparedness Project plans to provide information about establishing Emergency Rest Centers to congregations and other faith-based organizations that seek to serve as a community resource in a disaster. We also will continue communication with those leading regional and state initiatives such as Massachusetts VOAD and federal programs for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnership at DHS, FEMA and the White House.