May 14 2014
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Recommended Reading: A Church Prepares for Disaster by Engaging in the Every Day

Hurricane season—which officially starts in two weeks—has become a time of year for individuals, communities and organizations to assess their state of readiness for withstanding and surviving a disaster.

A recent Atlantic Cities article profiled a model to follow: the Providence Baptist Church in the Bayview community of San Francisco. Led by local pastor GL Hodge, who has both big box retail and crisis experience, the church has monthly resiliency meetings to establish a local response, and has provided CPR and disaster training to church members through the American Red Cross. The church has also worked to develop community trust by providing after school programs, weekly dinners, a weekly food bank and a shelter on the church grounds that sleeps more than 100 people every night.

Steps to help try to prevent large scale death and injury if an earthquake or other disaster hits include distribution of plastic bags to seniors to store their medicines and ID if they need to evacuate; placards that fit on door knobs indicating if they’re OK or need help in the event of a disaster; and a proposal that would use community development funds to train young men how to strengthen the foundations of senior’s homes, which would improve the chance that the structures would survive a disaster.

“We’re preparing a culture of preparedness,” says Hodge.

Read the full story here.

>>Bonus Link: Read a previous NewPublicHealth interview with Irwin Redlener, MD, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Tags: Built Environment and Health, Disasters, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Recommended Reading