Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods. When disaster strikes, congregations and faith-based organizations play a critical role. They provide food, counseling, shelter, transportation and communications to their congregants as well as their surrounding communities.
Their disaster response activities, however, are rarely systematized, nor are faith groups included in the disaster planning process. Congregations are expected to respond but largely operate outside of the formal governmental structures that manage disasters. Through its research, CRCC has developed the knowledge base needed to understand religious groups’ roles and assets, as well as how the government can best partner with these groups. Coordinating disaster preparedness and response will maximize the efforts between policy-makers and faith communities.
Photo Credit: Serve Indiana
- ReportThe Religious Literacy Primer for Crises, Disasters and Public Health EmergenciesA companion to the Field Guide for Religious Competency, the Religious Literacy Primer is a quick-reference document which provides information on basic religious literacy for 23 of the largest religious communities in …Topics: Disaster Response, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, Population Trends, Religious Affiliation, Social Services, Tools
- CRCC in the NewsMedia Coverage of L.A. Civil Unrest AnniversaryHaving grown out of the 1992 Los Angeles civil Unrest, the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement commemorated the 25th anniversary with multiple opportunities …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Disaster Response, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Violence
- AnnouncementCRCC Honored at White House for Helping L.A. Become Stronger and Better Prepared for DisastersBy Rebecca Cheng Brie Loskota, executive director of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, was honored at the White House last week for her work bridging faith organizations and government …Topics: Disaster Response, Government and Religion, Southern California
- CRCC in the NewsReligion News Service: 15 Years After 9/11, Are Congregations Prepared for Disasters?The 15th anniversary of 9/11 reminds religious leaders of the important role of congregations when faced with community disasters, Religion News Service reported. Few faith leaders, however, actually prepare plans to address …Topics: Disaster Response, Religious Leadership, Violence
- AnnouncementFEMA Releases Religious Literacy CourseThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a groundbreaking online training course to help disaster and emergency management professionals and volunteers work with religious communities. The web-based course, IS-505: Religious and Cultural …Topics: Disaster Response,
- ReportTips Sheets on Engaging Faith Communities in DisastersPeople of faith, congregations and faith-based organization provide essential relief and recovery functions after disasters. It is essential for government personnel and institutions, therefore, to understand the potential contributions and unique needs …Topics: Disaster Response, Tools
- VideoLoskota at USC Roundtable on Security with Clinton
- ResourcesEngaging Faith Communities in Disasters CurriculumHow can disaster response professionals engage faith communities during crises? Incorporating diverse religious and cultural groups into disaster response builds the resilience of the whole community. The USC Center for Religion and …Topics: Disaster Response
- CRCC in the NewsWhat’s the Role of Prayer After Mass Shootings?A mass shooting in San Bernardino, California has sparked a debate about the appropriateness of prayer after such incidents. CRCC Managing Director Brie Loskota commented on the debate on KPCC’s Take Two. …Topics: Disaster Response, Meditation and Prayer, Religious Leadership, Violence
- Commentary9/11 and Pope Francis: Bringing New York City’s Faith Communities TogetherTimothy Cardinal Dolan welcomed Pope Francis to “A Witness to Peace,” a multi-religious gathering at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, by telling him, “We in New York are sinners.” “But,” …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Disaster Response, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Muslims and Islam, Race and Culture, Religious Extremism, Religious Leadership, Violence
- CommentaryLessons from Hurricane Katrina: How Faith Communities Can Save LivesOne year before Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Louisiana’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness conducted a tabletop exercise that simulated a Category 3 hurricane hitting and …Topics: Disaster Response, Economic Inequality, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion,
- ReportTip Sheets: Sheltering and Mass Care of Religious Minorities in a DisasterIn a disaster, governmental, non-profit and faith-based organizations must respond to the needs of a diverse population. It’s an essential that those who seek to help those in need know how to …Topics: Disaster Response, Tools
“Faith-based organizations represented around two-thirds of the social service agencies involved in recovery efforts following the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. A recent study determined that over 60 percent of American turn first to their religious leaders for advice and direction in times of crisis.”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- Hebah FarragAssistant Director of ResearchHebah Farrag manages the center’s research and evaluation projects while engaging in research focused on religion, social change and new spiritualties.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Peter B. GudaitisContributing FellowPeter B. Gudaitis is an expert of faith communities and disaster readiness, response and recovery.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Brie LoskotaExecutive DirectorBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.