Many of our American democratic values, like freedom, liberty, justice, and the common good, involve caring for both ourselves and our fellow citizens. A great way to practice democratic virtues like adaptability, caring, cooperation, courage, empathy, generosity, perseverance, and service is to make a spiritual practice of preparing for and responding to disasters.

Visit the disaster preparedness sites of your choosing (such as to develop and implement your plan for disaster preparedness. Whether filling sandbags in advance of flooding, or putting earthquake kits together, involve family, friends, and neighbors, and offer a mantra, prayer, or hymn of hope, faith, and trust while engaging in your preparedness activities. Likewise for your response activities — whether planting trees or getting involved with your local humane society (or area animal disaster group) to help animals displaced by wildfires — involve others and offer a manta or prayer while you work, like "God be with all the beings in need and with those offering help."

Habib Todd Boerger in Practicing Democracy through Advocacy and Outreach