February 2, 2018

Picture of people sitting at round tables in a classroom
Picture provided by Washington County Medical Reserve Corps

Multnomah County Emergency Management’s Community Capacity Specialist, Justin E. Ross, attends a training titled Mobilizing Faith-Based Community Organizations in Preparing for Disaster.  A class that focused on the intersection of faith based organizations and the emergency management cycle.

Emergency management partners from Washington, Clackamas, and Clark Counties and various other local jurisdictions all were in attendance along with representatives from houses of worship across the region, helping to build their communities’ overall resilience to disasters and foster long standing working relationships. 

When asked what he gained from the training Ross stated:

“In my travels across the U.S. from disaster to disaster one of the things that became very clear to me is that once the cameras have gone and the interest in the event has waned community based organizations are the ones that stay and do the long-term heavy lifting.  Faith-based and other not-for-profits are where the rubber meets the road in disaster recovery.  I want to know and build relationships with these organizations, early.  They are what a sound recovery is built on.”

Multnomah County Emergency Management is currently in the process of developing a Community Organization Active in Disasters group, commonly referred to as a COAD.  According to Ross “COADs are predominantly made up of faith-based, not-for-profit, and business organizations that work in a coordinated way to serve areas affected by disasters” Ross’ hope is that they will have a robust program in the near future.

To learn more about how your organization can help in a disaster please contact Justin E. Ross at justin.ross@multco.us or 5039884233