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Emergency Preparedness

Community Interfaith Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery

The Interfaith Emergency Planning Steering Committee a standing Faith Communities in Action. The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Community Interfaith Coordination supports the Steering Committee plans and executes interfaith community emergency preparedness, response and recovery communication, training and coordination initiatives. The committee serves as the conduit between the faith community, the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, Department of Health, Department of Family Services, Department of Police, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council and the Northern Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD). Committee members serve on the Northern Virginia VOAD and the Citizen Corps Council.

Steering Committee Objectives

  • Increase houses of worships’ awareness of how they can assist the community during and after an emergency or disaster.
  • Promote and facilitate individual houses of worship’s development of a Continuity of Operation Plan.
  • Promote individual houses of worship’s engagement in activities that facilitate congregants’ emergency preparedness.

Steering Committee Initiatives

Ready...Pack...Go! Toolkit

Ready Pack Go logo

The Ready, Pack, Go Campaign facilitates faith communities' efforts to prepare its members for times of emergencies. The Campaign provides a web-based "how to" guide on how faith communities can organize an education effort to teach members about the importance of an emergency supply kit and how to prepare a kit. Ready, Pack, Go Campaign web-based resource materials can be easily downloaded for faith community emergency preparedness education efforts.

Download the following resource materials for your faith community's Ready, Pack, Go Campaign to encourage the preparation of individual and family Emergency Supply Kits.

 Pandemic Flu Plan

A guide for preparing for a major public health crisis; Ministry & Hope During the Pandemic Influenza

Faith Community Emergency Alert Network

The Faith Community Emergency Alert Network provides preparation, response and recovery emergency messages to house of worship representatives.  The messages are sent from the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management or the Faith Communities in Action Interfaith Emergency Planning Steering Committee.  Messages are sent by text to cell telephones and/or to e-mail accounts.  To register complete the Faith Community Emergency Alert Network Emergency Disaster Communication Application. Please scan and e-mail to or fax to 703-803-8598.

Continuity of Operations Plan for Houses of Worship (COOP)

Fairfax County Community Chaplain Program

While the Police and Fire & Rescue Chaplains will continue to provide spiritual care to first responders and citizens in crisis, when needed, the Fairfax County Community Chaplains will provide spiritual care and support specifically to community members during and after a local emergency or man-made or natural disaster. 

Fairfax Community Chaplains will be deployed to such areas as Family Assistance Centers, Emergency Shelters, and Disaster/Emergency Assistance Centers. Chaplains will work under the direction of emergency responders, Police and Fire & Rescue Chaplains, and in coordination with mental health professionals from the Fairfax County Community Services Board, the Department of Family Services and the Department of Health. Community Chaplains will work within the Uniform Incident Command System. Community Chaplains may be called at any time for a local emergency or disaster; however, each Chaplain will commit to serve as the “On Call Community Chaplain” in a weekly rotation for up to six weeks a year.

Fairfax County Community Chaplains at this time are to be ordained/invested or certified clergy and reside in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Each Community Chaplain candidate is to complete a “Community Chaplain Application” and successfully complete a “Fairfax County Criminal Background Investigation”. Candidates are required to attend four trainings and participate in a Community Chaplain Steering Committee interview to complete their Community Chaplain Certification process. The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management will provide certification documentation and identification.

Chaplain training includes: “Assisting Individuals in Crisis” and “Pastoral Crisis Intervention”. Both classes are certification courses and are taught by an International Critical Incident Stress Foundation certified instructor. “Psychological First Aid” is a free online class. All classes will be required for Community Chaplain Certification. Each candidate will also be required to successfully complete the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) 100 on-line course.

Chaplain Orientation Powerpoint Presentation Slides

Application: Please fax (703)-803-8598 or e-mail  the application.  A Criminal Background Investigation form will follow once your application has been screened for the program requirements.

Please follow the links below to obtain a PDF version of those respective materials:

Faith Communities in Action Interfaith Emergency Planning Steering Committee Newsletters

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