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CASE STUDY | Strengthening the Role of Faith-Based Organizations to Support Emergency Preparedness

Case Studies, Heather Keam, Cities Deepening Community, Sheila Murray

All levels of government ask residents to create an emergency kit and a plan that ensures they can look after themselves for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency. Most Canadians, especially those who live in cities, have never made those preparations. There is an obvious need for robust messaging, education and action around local community response and recovery.

Faith groups can add great value to local emergency response structures and systems. Many of them already serve their most vulnerable neighbours through regular drop-in or meal programs. Others provide overnight shelter through initiatives such as Out of the Cold. Faith groups offer local community connections, volunteer mobilization, and locally relevant resources that can enhance response and recovery effectiveness.

Heather Keam

By Heather Keam

Heather works with municipalities and organizations to build strategies that put people at the center using Asset-Based Community Development. With over 22 years of experience in community development, she uses an ABCD approach to center people and belonging in the development of community plans and strategies through coaching and training staff teams, facilitation, and writing about ABCD and Belonging. She has a passion for the power of people and believes that people and communities are the solutions to local problems. She believes that we need to build a sense of community belonging so that people are connected to their community, and their place within it and get involved in decision-making. She also believes that municipalities need to shift the way they show up in community from doing “for” to supporting communities to do themselves.

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