A screen capture of the FEMA flyer for course IS-505.

Religious and Cultural Community Support During a Disaster

Course Flyer

In 2011, as FEMA Administrator, W. Craig Fugate began to promulgate the Whole Community Concept. Based on this concept, he stated that “When a disaster strikes, the initial services provided may not come from government, but rather from churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based and community organizations.” “Improving the Nation’s Response to Catastrophic Disasters: How to Minimize Costs and Streamline our Emergency Management Programs” – W. Craig Fugate, March 30, 2011. 

Religious and cultural communities are part of the whole community, and the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships works to form partnerships between the Federal Government and faith-based and neighborhood organizations to more effectively serve Americans in need.

As part of this effort, in partnership with the University of Southern California Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorist Events (CREATE), this course and its companion tip sheet resources have been developed with the University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) and the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. In addition, FEMA personnel assisted the development of the course by providing their relevant expertise responding to disasters. The course provides emergency management professionals and faith and community leaders active in disaster with the religious literacy and competency tools needed to learn how to effectively engage religious and cultural groups and their leaders throughout the disaster lifecycle.

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