Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Emergency Management & Homeland Security


Emergency Management


College of Engineering & Applied Science

Committee Chair

Dr. Caroline Hackerott


Many religious institutions respond to global crises. These faith-based organizations may be small, independent institutions or belong to a larger corporate body. Local mainline Christian churches from mainline denominations including Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic, and United Methodist follow the latter model. As members of the larger corporate faith organization, these local churches have access to well-organized and established disaster response functional units. At the corporate level, these religious institutions have come together as collaborative partners in disaster response and recovery as members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD). While disaster planning, preparedness, response and recovery activities may be well established and coordinated at the national level, similar activity at the local level has not been examined closely. This study explores the level of internal disaster preparedness activity and coordination with formal emergency management organizations to which local churches within a NVOAD participating denomination have engaged. Using qualitative interviews and survey techniques, this research establishes the planning activities, preparedness levels, and coordination with local emergency management of three local churches in Northeast Arkansas representing different denominations. Current levels of preparedness activity is then compared to accepted standards for disaster plans and recommendations for practice and future study are suggested.