faith_based.jpgMiami-Dade County’s Office of Emergency Management recently launched what it called a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to better engage faith-based and community organizations in planning, responding and recovering from disasters.

MIAMI-DADE C.O.R.E. (Communities Organized to Respond in Emergencies) was created in

partnership with the White House’s Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships.

Curtis Sommerhoff, Miami-Dade County Emergency Management director, joined Jannah Scott of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the African Heritage Cultural Center in Liberty City to engage faith-based and community organizations on how to better partner to respond to the needs of residents during disasters.

Non-profits are encouraged to explore using their facilities as shelters or distribution points for emergency supplies, managing donation drives following disasters and providing neighborhood translation services in times in crisis.

The March 30 kick-off marked the beginning of a series of meetings with the goal of creating formal affiliations to strengthen Miami-Dade’s overall emergency preparedness.

“The creation of MIAMI-DADE C.O.R.E expands on our mission to enhance our community’s disaster preparedness,” Sommerhoff said in a statement announcing the initiative.

“This new effort ensures that our community organizations are engaged and prepared to partner with us to leverage our collective resources and further enhance disaster preparedness,” he said.

Scott added, “Given Miami-Dade’s cultural make-up and its high level of disaster preparedness, this community is a perfect starting point for our goal of building a more resilient nation. We believe Miami-Dade C.O.R.E will become a model for the nation.”

The Miami-Dade County Department of Emergency Management works with partners and the community to lessen the impact of disasters and potential catastrophic incidents.

It said it accomplishes its mission through planning, response and coordination of information and resources.

Residents may access emergency information at