Illinois Faith Based Preparedness Initiative

This partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Broadcast Ministers’ Alliance and Health Care Consortium provides a web site where faith-based organizations can access tips on disaster preparedness. The site is all-hazards, but pandemic influenza is used as a specific example in some cases. The site is divided into pages titled “Prepare,” “Listen,” “Act,” and “Now” (P.L.A.N.). The “Act” section features several downloadable tools, most of which come from the American Red Cross, DHS, and Illinois DHS. Some of the preparedness links are state-specific, which may limit their applicability outside of Illinois. Others, however, have very useful hands-on material for use anywhere, such as the family emergency plan template.

The Church Resource Assessment Tool is an especially useful document that public health agencies may use in its entirety or modify slightly to help enhance their planning and outreach to the faith-based community. The resource tool queries faith-based organizations about their constituents’ demographics; the number of people served by FBO programs; numbers of employees and volunteers; preparedness education and programs provided by the FBO; communication methods; and services the FBO can provide during an emergency. An emergency preparedness training module for faith-based organizations in Illinois is forthcoming.