Faith Communities Emergency Preparedness

Faith communities play an important role in the Palo Alto community. They serve as cultural, educational, emotional, social, religious, and political centers. “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.” W. Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator.

Palo Alto’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) recommends all faith communities follow steps 1 to 4 to prepare for major emergencies and disasters.

Step 1: Get Informed 

Step 2: Get Prepared

Step 3: Get Connected

  • Receive Do 1 Thing monthly updates: http://do1thing.com/
  • Connect into Palo Alto’s Emergency Management system
    • Schedule a visit with our Office of Emergency Services
    • Know your Neighborhood Preparedness Coordinator (NPC)
    • Know the staff of the Houses of Worship around your facility
    • Establish links to your intra-faith emergency preparedness program managers (if they exist)

Step 4: Take Action – Get Involved

  • Take basic first aid training: American Red Cross. http://www.redcross.org/ux/take-a-class 
  • Request Preparedness Classes from Palo Alto OES, e.g., Emergency Preparedness & Crime Prevention for starters 
  • Post Preparedness Messages on your website, newsletters, etc. 
  • Practice your plans: conduct evacuation, shelter in place and earthquake drills for your congregation

Step 5: Get Involved in the Community

  • Become a community resource. Complete a Letter of Intent with Palo Alto’s Office of Emergency Services. http://tinyurl.com/hh4485k  
  • Contact your NPC to participate in our citywide preparedness drills 
  • Conduct multi-faith tabletop emergency preparedness drills


Program Examples:

Faith Based Preparedness Flyer

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2016