Marcus T. Coleman Jr., is Director of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships. He has spoken with Kent and Jamie before on how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partner with the church to help people before, during and after disasters.

From hurricanes, to wildfires and threats of attacks in public spaces, I recognize the important role the church plays in providing hope and healing to disaster survivors. Below are three tools to complement the wonderful resources at Wheaton College’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute to help you and your church continue to do good-better before disaster strikes.

The FEMA App is your personalized disaster resource, so you and your congregation feel empowered and ready to take charge of any disaster life throws your way. The FEMA mobile app was updated recently — in English and Spanish — to give users increased personalization options and help them take charge of disasters. It’s the mobile app’s largest update in the last 10 years and demonstrates FEMA’s continued commitment to meeting people where they are by providing the resources they need in a user-friendly way. The new app will allow users to customize what they see in the app in order to receive information most relevant to their user preferences and location.

Download the FEMA App.

You can download the FEMA App on Google Play and on the Apple App Store. You can also download the app via text messaging. On an Android device, text ANDROID to 43362 (4FEMA); On an Apple Device, text APPLE to 43362 (4FEMA).

Download a Toolkit for Hurricane Preparedness.

FEMA’s Hurricane Season Preparedness Digital Toolkit (Hurricane Season Preparedness Digital Toolkit | is a resource containing ready-to-use social media posts, graphics and video links that promote life-saving information about how your congregants and community members can prepare for and survive during a hurricane. Your digital engagement ministry may find all the Social Media Preparedness Toolkits | helpful to use year-round.

Take Advantage of Resources for Places of Worship.

Our 5 Ways to Improve the Safety and Security of Your Place of Worship or Community Spaces provides some practical recommendations, resources and relations to support your efforts to provide a safe and welcoming environment for people to worship, fellowship and serve.

As your church uses and implements these tools, know you have a team ready and willing to walk with you on your journey to prepare your family, congregation and community. This includes your state, local, tribal or territorial emergency management agency and first responder entities (local law enforcement, fire service and emergency medical services) the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships and partners including the Salvation Army, SEND Relief, Feed the Children and other members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.

For more information on how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, has information online for individuals, individuals with disabilities, families, kids, pets and businesses.

Marcus T. Coleman Jr., is Director of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships.