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A Mixed-methods Pilot Study of Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency Among Faith-based Organizations

  • Valerie M. Muller (a1), Rita V. Burke (a1) (a2), Bridget M. Berg (a1), Ann C. Lin (a1) and Jeffrey S. Upperman (a1) (a2)...



Faith-based organizations represent a source of stability and are an established presence in a community. They frequently serve their community following disasters. They are not formally included or identified as a disaster resource; thus, there is an opportunity to increase the effectiveness with which faith-based organizations prepare for and respond to disasters.


This pilot study aimed to assess perceptions of the level of disaster preparedness and resiliency among faith-based organizations as a first step in understanding how to improve disaster preparedness and resiliency among these organizations and their communities.


Survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted with six faith-based organizations, one with a leader and one with a staff member. Frequency distributions of survey questions were obtained. Interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was supported by analytical software, ATLAS. ti.


Results of the survey indicated strong social networks among congregation and community members. However, half of the members indicated that they did not socialize often with other races and other neighborhoods. Additionally, trust of other groups of people was generally low. Themes that emerged from qualitative analysis were: (1) perceived disaster preparedness and resiliency; (2) barriers to community preparedness and resiliency; (3) lessons learned from past disasters; (4) social services and networks; and (5) willingness to be prepared.


The results suggest that there is a need for interventions to improve disaster preparedness and resiliency among faith-based organizations.

Muller V , Burke R , Berg B , Lin A , Upperman J . A Mixed-methods Pilot Study of Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency Among Faith-based Organizations. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(2):1-7 .


Corresponding author

Correspondence: Jeffrey S. Upperman, MD Keck School of Medicine Pediatric Surgery Children's Hospital Los Angeles University of Southern California 4650 Sunset Boulevard Mailstop #72 Los Angeles, CA 90027 USA E-mail


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These authors contributed equally to this work.



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A Mixed-methods Pilot Study of Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency Among Faith-based Organizations

  • Valerie M. Muller (a1), Rita V. Burke (a1) (a2), Bridget M. Berg (a1), Ann C. Lin (a1) and Jeffrey S. Upperman (a1) (a2)...


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