Faith-based Emergency Management Efforts

While emergency preparedness has often been managed by the local, state, or federal authorities, the archdiocese of Chicago is looking to get involved, according to Catholic New World. Working with the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication, Father Michael Zaniolo, director of the archdiocesan Security Awareness and Emergency Management Task Force, is looking to promote a set of workshops intended to help parishes develop plans for how to respond to emergencies. Each set of workshops is expected to include three seminars, and provide details on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies or disasters, resulting in plans addressing items like relevant threats and hazards, evacuation, family reunification, incident management and coordination with outside agencies.

The exercises were a response to Cook County’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management contacting the estimated 5,000 houses of worship in the area, with the intention of promoting guidelines for preparedness and best practices.

“It’s always better to be prepared than not prepared,” Zaniolo told Catholic New World. The weather is becoming more violent and unpredictable and so are people.”