The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded Jamie Aten, coauthor of Disaster Ministry Handbook, with the Community Preparedness Champion Award, one of eleven honors given out as part of the 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards.
"We are more prepared for disasters when everyone in the community works together," said FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. "FEMA is proud to honor individuals and organizations who are building communities that are more prepared for emergencies through creativity, innovation, and collaboration."
Aten is the founder and codirector with David Boan of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI), the country's first faith-based academic disaster research center. Building on his own personal experience with disaster response as well as academic research, Aten has helped faith-based organizations (FBOs) improve individual and community preparedness and has trained more than 2,000 individuals and leaders associated with FBOs. In September Aten will be taking a team from HDI to help train and do research amid the flooded areas of Baton Rouge.
"Jamie Aten has worked diligently to provide relief and hope in the wake of natural and human disasters of all kinds, and we are grateful that his Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Disaster Ministry Handbook have been helpful to many," said Al Hsu, senior editor, IVP Books.
Aten and Boan coauthored Disaster Ministry Handbook to help churches prepare for events like the recent flood in Louisiana and in turn to provide relief to survivors, care for the vulnerable, and to help communities recover. "Most people do not know how to effectively prepare for or respond to disasters. Moreover, in conducting research around the globe, David and I have found that there is a great deal of variability among how ready churches are for disasters," Aten said. "Some churches in high-risk areas are relatively prepared, and others little or not at all. We have found an alarming trend—most churches realize there are threats, but few do anything ahead of time to actually prepare for disasters." Filled with resources for emergency planning and crisis management, Disaster Ministry Handbook provides best practices for local congregations.
Aten will be recognized with the other FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients on September 13, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Hsu said, "We at IVP heartily congratulate Jamie on this award, and we are hopeful that this recognition will extend the reach of his work in restoring shalom to individuals and communities."