Disasters prompt our desire to help in some way, we want to do something. We want to respond in a way that is actually helpful and appropriate. But it's essential to wait for the rescue period and for the first responders to deem the areas safe for the relief phase.
At this point we can pray for the safety of those in the storm’s path and for the first responders and essential personnel that stay. You may also donate money to go directly to the affected areas. We work with congregations and communities in the region to assess what’s needed and when. We have teams ready to go into those areas once it is safe to do so.
Most disasters have three phases:
Rescue - The Rescue phase is focused on saving lives and securing property. This work is generally done by the police, fire departments and other government agencies. These groups have equipment that can clear roads and debris. The Rescue phase can take one to two weeks, sometimes longer.
Relief - In the relief stage focus turns to creating short-term safe conditions. We work with local churches to assess the needs, and to reach out to those in need of assistance. It is a time of being the church in the neighborhood, providing comfort and prayer. It is also a time of coordinating with a number of organizations. Communities may need financial support and volunteers to assist in rebuilding, but this usually takes time to coordinate. We will communicate through email, Facebook, and this webpage when there are special requests for flood buckets, hygiene kits, or other supplies.
Recovery - This can take years. This is when teams work on restoring services, repairing houses and buildings, returning individuals to self-sufficiency and rebuilding communities. This is the phase that our church ministries really step in with volunteer teams, servant events, and grants to get people back on their feet. This is a long term effort and information on locations needing teams will be posted on this page when we get to the recovery phase.