Faith Communities and Disasters
Congregations currently play a critical role once disasters strike, providing food, counseling, shelter, transportation and communications to their congregants and their surrounding communities. However, this role and their activities are neither systematized, nor included in the disaster mitigation planning process. Congregations are expected to respond but largely operate outside of the formal structures that manage disasters. Even when they are engaged, those efforts tend to be opportunistic and informal; they do not address congregations as an existing system with unique resources and capital that can be harnessed before, during and after disasters. This project is an opportunity to increase the effectiveness with which congregations prepare for and respond to disasters.
The Center for Religion and Civic Culture is working to develop a knowledge base for the roles, assets and potential engagement of congregations in coordinated disaster preparedness and response and serve as a bridge that maximizes the efforts on these issues between policy-makers and faith-communities across California and potentially, as a national model in the future.