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Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers Expert Discusses How Community Faith-Based Organizations Can Prepare For COVID-19

16-Mar-2020 1:35 PM EDT, by Rutgers University-New Brunswick

John J. Farmer, Jr., director of Rutgers’ Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience, is available to discuss how faith-based organizations can plan for COVID-19 impacts on their volunteers, staff and the communities they serve.

“Community and faith-based organizations, whose members may include vulnerable populations, must prepare for the fact that community members will be self-isolating and worried about COVID-19, and may become ill,” Farmer said. "COVID-19 can be contained only by curtailing mass meetings and isolating the ill and exposed, particularly the elderly. Such social distancing and isolation can challenge the spiritual and civic missions of community and faith-based organizations, but the price of containment need not be despair."  

The Miller Center, affiliated with Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics and Rutgers Law School, works with vulnerable communities around the world to enhance their safety and standing in society by improving their relationships with law enforcement, other government agencies and other vulnerable communities. The Center recently released “Plan, Respond, Mitigate,” a document with guidance that will help community and faith-based organizations prepare for the unique challenges posed by COVID-19.

Farmer is the director of Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics, and has led the Miller Center since its inception as Rutgers’ Faith-Based Communities Security Program in 2015. He is a nationally recognized expert in preparedness, law and security. He has vast experience in emergency management and response, as well as analyzing how local, state, and federal governments coordinate emergency responses. Farmer led the 9/11 Commission's team in evaluating the national emergency response, researched the response to Hurricane Katrina, and is FEMA certified in disaster response.

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