aFaith Based Organizations

Faith-Based and Community Based Organizations

Faith-based (FBOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) have always been the first to help their communities after a disaster. Until recently, governments had been slow to recognize this fact. With the increase in number and severity of disasters the importance of this help cannot be overestimated and is now eagerly welcomed by government at all levels.

Faith-based and community-based organizations can help in the various phases of a disaster: preparedness, response and recovery. In the area of preparedness organizations have the two- fold mission of preparing their members and preparing the organization to carry on after a disaster (emergency response and continuity planning).

Federal, regional and local governments have many resources available to help faith-based and other community-based organizations prepare for disasters. Without plans or disaster training, organizations will not be able to adequately respond to a disaster much less help their members or other neighbors.

In the areas of response and recovery, there are many ways faith-based and community organizations can, and do, provide help to their members and neighbors. These include: providing care for people with disabilities or access and functional needs, pastoral services, child care, clothes distribution, feeding services, counseling, shelter and shelter management, housing assistance, and transportation services.

Faith-based or community organizations can also conduct welfare checks in the community, serve as a communications/message hub, serve as a distribution point/hub for emergency commodities and supplies, provide and help manage reception sites and/or staging areas, serve as a community center, etc.

No one organization can do it all and most organizations focus on one or two areas of need. In Santa Clara County, CADRE (Collaborating Agencies’ Disaster Relief Effort) is an “umbrella” organization that brings together and organizes the different types of organizations who may help with response and recovery in a disaster. In Palo Alto, organizations can partner with the city’s Office of Emergency Services to plan for and prepare for disasters.

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FAITH BASED AND COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS