What is Praise & Preparedness?

In times of crisis, many people look to faith-based organizations for guidance and support. In addition, congregations often play an integral role in local readiness and recovery, providing shelter and supplies before and after disasters.

Launched in October 2015, Praise & Preparedness is a countywide program from the Cochise County Office of Emergency Services (CCOES) that provides faith-based organizations with the tools they need to take action to prepare for a disaster. CCOES is the county agency that is responsible for emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and special events.

A key component is the Praise & Preparedness Partnership Program, which offers three ways to ensure your house of worship is prepared for unexpected events:

  • Facility Safety: Conduct a facility safety assessment and complete or update the emergency plan for all the congregational buildings.
  • Congregant Safety: Encourage members of the congregation to follow three simple steps to get their families and homes ready for at least 72 hours following emergencies: Prepare a kit of emergency supplies, create an emergency communications plan, and stay informed about potential threats and their appropriate responses.
  • Community Involvement: Explore new opportunities for the congregation to become involved in community emergency disaster relief efforts, feeding and sheltering programs.


Faith-based organizations play an integral role in local readiness and recovery efforts. To support these efforts, the Cochise County Office of Emergency Services is introducing a new initiative, Praise & Preparedness.

In light of recent unfortunate events, many houses of worship nationwide are working to take the necessary measures to prepare their houses of worship for not only natural disasters, but human-caused disasters as well, specifically Active Shooters. Below are some resources where houses of worship will be able to get more information to become more prepared regarding active shooters.

https://www.fbi.gov/about/partnerships/office-of-partner-engagement/active-shooter-resources

https://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness

https://www.justice.gov/crs (Community Relations Service)

https://www.justice.gov/crt (Civil Rights Division)

Another great resource that houses of worship may not be aware of is the Nonprofit Security Grant Program through FEMA.

The NSGP provides funding support for target hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attacks and located within one of the specific Fiscal Year 2015 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) designated urban areas.

Each organization may apply through a State Administrative Agency for awards up to $75,000 to help with the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property (including building and improvements) owned or leased by the nonprofit organizations, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against the risk of terrorist attack. Allowable equipment is limited to Physical Security Enhancement Equipment and Inspection and screening Systems. For more detailed information about the Allowable Equipment, please visit http://www.fema.gov/preparedness-non-disaster-grants

A list of State Administrative Agency contacts can be located at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/28689?id=6363

This grant may also be used for security-related training courses and programs. For more information of what allowable training-related costs are limited to as well as mark when the next application period opens, please visit http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/103704.
 

Free Online FEMA Courses regarding Security Preparation that can be found at http://training.fema.gov:

IS-360: Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents

IS-366: Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters

IS-906: Workplace Security Awareness

IS-907: Active Shooter: What You Can Do

IS-909: Community Preparedness

IS-914: Surveillance Awareness: What You Can Do

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Praise & Preparedness provides congregations with the resources needed to prepare before disaster strikes. By acting on our simple message to “prepare, plan and stay informed,” you can help reduce the impact of any large-scale emergency on your organization and members.

Want to bring Praise & Preparedness to your congregation? This site is here to help. Check out our toolkit of resources, join the Praise & Preparedness Partnership Program or email nsturm@cochise.az.gov for more information.

Learn more about the partnership program and the requirements to become a partner. You also can download resources that will aid you in achieving the goal of becoming a Praise & Preparedness partner with CCOES in the  "Files" portion below.

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