FEMA IS-505: Religious and Cultural Literacy and Competency in Disaster Course Overview
Religious and cultural communities are key partners in building a culture of preparedness. Faith-based and community organizations also offer a wide variety of human and material resources that can prove invaluable during and after an incident. Collaborating with these vital community members will allow emergency managers to access a multitude of local resources and ensure members of the whole community can contribute to disaster resilience efforts.
The DHS Center for Faith & Opportunity Initiatives works to support partnerships between the emergency managers, first responders and faith-based and community organizations to more effectively serve Americans in need.
As part of this effort, in partnership with the University of Southern California Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorist Events (CREATE), this course and its companion tip sheet resources have been developed with the University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) and the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. In addition, FEMA personnel assisted the development of the course by providing their relevant expertise responding to disasters. The course provides emergency management professionals and faith and community leaders active in disaster with the religious literacy and competency tools needed to learn how to effectively engage religious and cultural groups and their leaders throughout the disaster lifecycle.
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Explain why we engage religious and cultural communities in disaster, and how religious and cultural diversity and practice is not only protected by law but how it strengthens emergency management’s capabilities.
- Define the meaning of religious and cultural literacy and competency in disaster management.
- Describe how religious and cultural language differs from government culture and language.
- Identify the skills needed to competently engage religious and cultural leaders and groups in the field.
- Describe each step in the six step “LEADER” process.
This course is open to the general public.