Role of Faith-Based and Community Organizations in Providing Relief and Recovery Services After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Part III. Conclusions


Faith-based and community organizations played a prominent role in the relief and recovery efforts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The magnitude of their response in 2005 was directly related to the magnitude of the storms, but their experiences provide very important lessons about what FBCOs can be expected to do in future disasters.

The key findings of the telephone survey and case studies, summarized in Parts I and II, address the five research questions of this study: specifically, what are the characteristics of FBCOs that provided disaster-related human services; what services were provided, and to whom; what resources (monetary, material, and human) were used to deliver services; what networks facilitated the ability of FBCOs to deliver services; and what lessons can be learned from these relief efforts? Together, these findings create a detailed portrait of the breadth, depth, and complexity of activities undertaken by smaller and nontraditional responders in the days, weeks, and months after the storms.

The analysis raised three overarching questions about the potential role that FBCOs might play in future disasters:

  1. At what points in the relief and recovery efforts and under what conditions are these types of FBCOs most likely to provide assistance;
  2. Do FBCOs perform differently or provide different services than those provided by traditional responders and public agencies; and
  3. Can or should FBCOs be expected to interact with traditional disaster responders or other human service providers during disasters to facilitate a broader or coordinated response?

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