Faith communities serve as focal points for people seeking social, spiritual and recovery assistance when disaster strikes, as evidenced by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Communities that struggle to recover from these events often lack strong social and religious networks. In fact, in times of crisis, research has found that an estimated 60 percent of Americans turn first to their religious leaders and faith communities for advice and direction. In low-income and immigrant communities, this percentage has been found to be even higher.
In the fall of 2012 CaliforniaVolunteers hosted regional summits across California, that brought together faith leaders, emergency and public agency officials, and VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to establish a vision for building sustainable faith community networks and partnerships with California government agencies. CaliforniaVolunteers partnered with regional emergency management, VOADs, and interfaith intermediaries to bring the summits to San Diego, Los Angeles, and Central California.
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