In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and the No Name Storm, faith affiliated disaster responders across Florida came together. Their leaders recognized that communication and cooperation among the disaster relief organizations was needed to enhance the community’s ability to meet the long term recovery needs of disaster survivors. In resolve, these leaders sought to organize the way Florida faith communities would embrace disaster in the future. Florida Interfaith Networking in Disaster, FIND, was formed in 1994.
FIND is a coalition of faith-based organizations, partnered with allied agencies and each other, which promotes networking to prepare Florida’s communities for the effects of disaster, and in the aftermath facilitates spiritual and long term practical aid. FIND is there to help faith leaders as they identify and address disaster related unmet needs in their community. Access to resources is provided, interagency cooperation developed and support for the local efforts given.
Each disaster is unique. FIND, through it’s network, facilitates recovery efforts through broad based cooperation and expertise. When disaster strikes, FIND is there:
- El Nino flooding throughout Florida
- Tornados – Central Florida
- Florida Wildfires – Northern and Central Florida
- Hurricane George – South Florida and Panhandle.
- Hurricanes Floyd and Irene – Central, Southern and Eastern Florida
- Wind Disasters – Central Florida
- Terrorist Attacks – Aftermath of 9/11/01 and the War on Terrorists
FIND is a network comprised of faith based organizations, state, local and national recovery groups, as well as other community minded volunteers. FIND works in areas that help to Prepare, Respond and Network disaster relief efforts. These efforts include:
- Community Interfaith/Interagency Network development and support.
- Training in all aspects of disaster recovery and mitigation
- Sharing practical knowledge between insurance, agency programs, private and faith based sources of help.
- Preventing and helping efforts to avoid disasters or re-occurrence of disaster in the community.
- Facilitating the rebuilding of homes and lives through the organizing of Community Interfaith/Interagency Networks, CIINS Disaster Response and Unmet Needs Coalitions.
- Creating the avenue whereby best practices can be shared by faith based, social service and governmental agencies.