Faith-Based Organizations

IAEM-USA Faith-Based Organizations Caucus

Caucus Chair:
Terry Lightheart, CEM, MCEM

Vice Chair:
Bob Goldhammer, CEM

IAEM-USA Chaplain
Jeff Walker, CEM

Contact Person for Caucus Related News/Events:
pending selection

Board Liaison:
Joshua M. Morton, MPA, CEM, SCCEM, IAEM-USA Region 4 President, iaem.R4@iaem.com

Staff Liaison:
Sharon Kelly, info@iaem.com  

The IAEM-USA Faith-Based Organizations Caucus welcomes new members from the emergency management, community service, volunteer and faith-based sectors. IAEM-USA members interested in participating in this committee should email the committee leadership and tell them how you can contribute to or learn from this committee's important work. Members may retrieve leadership email addresses by searching the membership directory.

Meeting Records (members-only)

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the IAEM-USA Faith-Based Organizations Caucus is to advocate for the increased recognition and engagement of faith-based organizations in IAEM-USA and the emergency management community toward building stronger and more resilient communities

Caucus Conference Call Schedule

Unless otherwise notified, the Faith-Based Caucus will conduct a conference call from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time on the following dates:

  • Feb. 25, 2021
  • Apr. 22, 2021
  • June 24, 2021
  • Aug. 26, 2021
  • Oct. 15-22, 2021: IAEM 2021 Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan (meeting date and room TBD)


Events of Interest

  • DHS Webinar to be held Jan. 30 on the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives
    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering a webinar on Jan. 30, 2020, at 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST, to provide an “FEMA 101: Overview of the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives and FEMA Components.” Join this webinar to learn how the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunities Initiatives (DHS Center) is working with houses of worship and nonprofits, connecting with FEMA and other federal partners. Featured speakers will include representatives from the DHS Center, FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA), Public Assistance (PA), Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) and Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA). The agenda will include: an introduction on the role and functions of the DHS Center; an overview of the IAEM process and voluntary agency liaisons; information on the PA policy for houses of worship; information about ICPD preparedness resources; and details on ways that the IGA communicates preparedness and disaster-relation information. Register online through Adobe Connect. For more information, contact Partnerships@fema.dhs.gov.


Resources and Partnerships

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Protecting Houses of Worship: Web page contains resources for faith and community leaders to assist with preparing for emergency situations. Through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, FEMA brings together government and faith- and community-based partners to assist houses of worship to prepare for, and mitigate against, disasters and emergencies by providing tools, training and technical assistance. Many of these resources are at no cost and complement the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship (see next bulleted item).
  • Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship: provides houses of worship with information regarding emergency operations planning (EOP) for the spectrum of threats and hazards they may face. It discusses actions that may be taken before, during and after an incident in order to reduce the impact on property and any loss of life, and it encourages every house of worship to develop an EOP. It resulted from a collaborative effort between the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Health and Human Services; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and the FBI. Download the Guide.
  • Humanitarian Disaster Institute: The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) offers resources for disaster spiritual and emotional care, disaster ministry, and for humanitarian development. These resources are intended for lay helpers, congregations, and faith-based organizations, as well as for students and professionals in the fields of public health, mental health, and disaster management. Explore available resources.
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police: Website includes an article titled Advising Houses of Worship on a Comprehensive and Balanced Security Plan.
  • Justice Technology Information Center: A program of the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and U.S. Department of Justice. NIJ has created an app that will help local law enforcement work with houses of worship to evaluate facilities and create plans for preventing attacks and prepare for other catastrophic events. To access this FREE app, public safety officials should email the information listed here to asknlectc@justnet.org from your official agency email account.
  • Produced by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) of the United Kingdom, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Terrorism and Allied Matters (ACPO TAM), Counter Terrorism Protective Security Advice for Places of Worship offers protective security advice to those who are responsible for security in places of worship.
  • The National Disaster Interfaith Network: Read Active Shooter in a House of Worship: Download this tip sheet.
  • Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships: Serves as connecting point to the White House Office of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships. Prepare faith-based institutions and community organizations to effectively respond to emergencies and natural disasters, as well as to help combat human trafficking and the exploitation of the poor and vulnerable.
  • FEMA Emergency Management Institute: Online Disaster Training. It is highly recommended that those involved in disaster services complete the following courses offered by FEMA: ICS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800.
  • Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute: HDI Website. The organization hosts an annual disaster ministries conference. The next conference is scheduled for June 21-23, 2018, in Naperville, Illinois.
  • Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium: Congress and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC or the Consortium) to develop and deliver relevant all-hazards training in support of rural homeland security requirements. The Consortium is led by The Center for Rural Development and is comprised of academic partners that possess extensive experience and niche capabilities in developing and delivering homeland security curriculum to the rural emergency response community, to include training for Faith-Based Organizations.
  • Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies: ASARB Website.
  • National Disasters Interfaith Network: NDIN Website.

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