Houses Of Worship

Aside from family, the most trusted source of information for populations with access and functional support needs is clergy and, in turn, religious congregations. This is particularly important in immigrant populations that may not come from a country where there is a tradition of trusting government or other organizations. Religious centers, or houses of worship, also provide a central gathering place.

Religious leaders, and those within houses of worship that provide community outreach and support, are the most effective means of message delivery and are able to influence and promote planning activity. In addition to tools available on the Materials for Download page, the following are suggestions for how your congregation and leadership can engage the community to assist those with needs on how best to prepare for a hurricane:

  • Houses of worship can partner with emergency management officials to reach persons with special needs and their families to provide them with hurricane preparation information through presentations to senior groups, religious classes, festivals, health fairs, and other gatherings.
  • Encourage congregations to act on the Together Against the Weather concept by adopting near-by residential complexes that, unlike fixed facilities such as nursing homes or hospitals, do not have an organized preparation or evacuation plan in place. Many religious organizations schedule community service projects and take an active role in reaching out to neighboring communities. Adopt-a-site programs, door-to-door identification and mapping of needs, are effective strategies for formulating supportive relationships in advance of an emergency event.
  • Contact your local ministerial alliance. This organization can bring together the leadership of all religious outlets and denominations.
  • Organize a congregation-wide donation drive to collect items that can be included in preparation and evacuation kits for populations with special needs.
  • Partner with local law enforcement chaplain who can leverage opportunities for presentations and communications
Contact Your County Emergency Office Evacuation Maps Materials for Download Videos