OCU Program Conducts Emergency Preparedness Research Project

Despite the coverage of the seemingly unending line of disasters, the concept of preparing for an emergency is still foreign to many groups and individuals around the world today.  We are all convinced that, “it will never happen to us!”  It might never happen to you, but what would you do if it did?   Research has shown that when there is some degree of preparedness, groups and individuals are better able to survive the disaster and continue operating once the initial incident occurs.  Preparation is especially important for groups that might be called upon to help with the response and recovery, like churches, and other faith based entities.  

The harsh reality is that very few churches carry any sort of emergency plan, and of those that do, they are often incomplete and inaccessible to anyone apart from the pastor and staff.  The Disaster Management and Relief Program at OCU, in conjunction with The Conflict Analysis and Intervention Group (CAAIG) have undertaken a research project, studying how pastors within the Churches of Christ in Christian Union (CCCU) are preparing for emergencies and disasters.

When asked about the project, Project Coordinator, Christy Galvan, stated, “This goal of this work is to show pastors and faith based entities that it’s crucial to prepare for emergencies and without it, they will be unable to serve their communities.”  Christy is a senior majoring in Disaster Management & Relief.  She was a founding member of OCU’s International Association of Emergency Managers chapter, and is a member of Epsilon Pi Phi, an Emergency Management Honor Society.

The project is scheduled to last through August.  Once completed, a report will be compiled and made available to churches or faith-based organizations who wish to learn more about disaster preparation.