EMA asks churches to talk about disasters

Published 2:36 am Saturday, September 28, 2013

Emergency officials are asking area churches and faith-based organizations to become “ReadySunday.”

County EMA Director Susan Harris said her agency is “working to prepare the citizens of the county for hazards that may be disruptive to our daily lives” as part of the statewide effort. Harris is asking area churches to gather contact information, including a phone number and email address, from members of the church congregations.

“ReadySunday is a day that religious leaders are called on to inform congregations to be ready for a man-made or natural disaster,” Harris said of tomorrow, Sept. 29. “We are calling on our faith-based partners in the communities for assistance with this. Our county is blessed with many churches and places of worship being widespread throughout all areas in our communities.”

As part of the ReadyAlabama campaign, the State of Alabama has created the ReadySunday initiative encouraging faith-based organizations to educate their congregations on how to respond when a man-made or natural disaster strikes.

Harris said congregations know the people in their communities, and in turn, those members know the church leadership.

“Churches play an integral role in the community during disasters,” Harris said. “Not only will congregation members turn to their faith in times of crisis, but community members will also seek out your organization for comfort and support.

“With the collaboration of faith-based groups and governmental agencies, we can work together to educate communities to prepare before disaster strikes,” she said.

Harris said the information collected will be used “to get the word out faster” in times of disaster.

Harris said churches can email the information to her office at ema@covcounty.com.