The role of faith-based and community organizations in times of disasters is invaluable. Whether it is providing shelter to those in need, removing debris to help communities start on the road to recovery or helping families rebuild their homes, faith-based and community organizations have always played a pivotal rolein meeting the needs of the whole community.
The DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships is partnering with the Ready Campaign and FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division to build a culture of preparedness across the nation.
We know that communities best able to recover from a disaster are the ones that prepare in advance with their local emergency management partners. To help strengthen the whole community approach to preparedness, we are encouraging everyone to sign up and participate in September’s National Preparedness Month (NPM) by going to www.ready.gov/community and becoming a NPM Coalition Member.
NPM is an annual campaign to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses and communities. This year’s theme is “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare.” Events will occur across the country that strengthen a whole community approach to emergency preparedness.
Our goal for this NPM 2011 is to have 500 faith-based and 1000 community organizations join us as NPM Coalition Partners. Signing up to be a coalition partner is easy just go to www.ready.gov/community and follow the instructions on the website. As a coalition partner you will gain access to tools and resources that will help you find creative and fun ways to help build a culture of preparedness in your community. We are encouraging faith-based and community organizations to consider one of three things to increase a culture of preparedness for NPM:
- Have your organization complete a Ready Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Planand encourage individuals to complete a Ready Family Emergency Plan.
- Host or participate in an Interfaith Week of Remembrance and Service (September 11-18). For potential ideas click here.
- Honor the first responders in your community by helping spread the message of preparedness.
We hope you will join us in making this National Preparedness Month the largest in history. More importantly we hope you will use this as an opportunity to help make preparedness a part of your community year round.
Rev. David L. Myers serves as the Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security, and Marcus Coleman serves as Program Specialist, FEMA, Individual & Community Preparedness Division.