Disaster Response Guidelines
Guidelines for Congregations to Prevent, Prepare, Respond, Recover
The Southeastern District Disaster Response Task Force works to bring the tools needed to begin the process of preventing, preparing, responding and recovering from a disaster that a congregation or community may experience. On this page, you will find a series of modules that may be used, one at a time, to begin this important process. Please take the time to look over the modules, present them to your pastor and church leaders, and encourage them to begin this process. There are many resources available to help you and you are encouraged to contact the firstname.lastname@example.org at any time with your questions.
In any disaster the question is “were any of our members involved?” Having current, accurate, complete contact information at your fingertips after a disaster will enable you to quickly identify needs. A completed Module One is the first step in being prepared to respond to the needs of those entrusted to your care. This addresses the emergency contact info needed. Each member of the congregation is contacted to complete the attached information page. It also includes a page for local, regional and national emergency contacts.
Developing a Community Network will greatly assist your congregation in dealing with a disaster before the event occurs.
How would you continue the necessary operations of your ministry? This module is designed to help you develop a plan that outlines the role and responsibilities of clergy, staff and members so that ministry may continue.
What are we able to do? & How can we help? The module four form Response-ability Survey helps a church know how they are able to respond.
Is your computer prepared for a disaster? This module addresses a backup plan for data and records
Module six is a reference module of web resources.
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod www.lcms.org
LCMS web site that is a source of information about the ministries of the international LCMS church, its theology and many organizations that serve the LCMS.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care www.worldrelief.lcms.org
The ministry of LCMS that focuses on health and human care issues, including disaster response; Web includes information and links.
Lutheran Mission Society www.lutheranmissionsociety.org
Organization established in 1905 in Maryland that provides food, clothing, disaster relief, and the Gospel through 8 Compassion Centers, including a mobile compassion trailer that can be moved as needed. Web links to many resources for disaster response and recovery.
Lutheran Services in America (LSA) www.lutheranservices.org
An alliance of LCMS and ELCA and their related social ministry organizations; includes over 300 health and service organizations serving over 6 million clients per year.
Lutheran Church Charities www.lutheranchurchcharities.org
Headquartered in Addison, Ill, LCC is a ministry founded in 1947 to help support Christian human care ministries of the Church. LCC connects needs with resources, working with congregations to help Christians make a difference in people’s lives and in God’s Kingdom.
LCMS Southern District www.lcmsdistricts.org/southern
Since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, the Southern District has been heavily involved in disaster recovery for their congregations. Their Web includes links to opportunities for congregations and individuals to continue to serve those who lost so much.
Orphan Grain Train www.ogt.org
International Lutheran Hour ministry/relief organization founded in 1992 after needs for spiritual and humanitarian aid were witnessed in the former Soviet Union. OGT has sent over 20,000,000 pounds of supplies worldwide, including to disaster sites. Headquarters in Nebraska but has 18 locations throughout the USA. Web site notes ongoing needs and projects. Many opportunities for congregations and organizations to be involved.
U.S. GOVERNMENT/PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS
Disaster News Network (DNN) www.disasternews.net
DNN is a news service that tells the story of disaster response and suggests appropriate ways the public can help survivors. Includes information on disaster work of various church bodies.
American Red Cross www.redcross.org
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its congressional charter, provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Provides training for volunteers and web site offers much information for responding to any disaster throughout the world.
Salvation Army www.salvationarmyusa.org
The Salvation Army has been supporting those in need in His name since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance each year through food for the hungry, clothing and shelter and opportunities for the disabled, ill and poor, as well as relief for disaster victims, The SA is often among the first on the scene of a disaster. SA Disaster Canteens are familiar sights to firemen, police and victims. Their web site offers information and opportunities to train and volunteer.
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster www.nvoad.org
NVOAD is a national organization that coordinates planning efforts by many voluntary organizations responding to disaster. Local VOAD groups are made up of regional member organizations who meet and are ready to respond if contacted by NVOAD. The Web site offers information on how your organization can become involved in NVOAD/VOAD.
On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary mission of FEMA is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters through a system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. This extensive web site is very comprehensive in dealing
with all aspects of disasters.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security www.ready.gov
This web site provides information, materials and resources available to organizations (such as
churches) and individuals for use in preparing and planning for any emergency.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention www.emergency.cdc.gov
A division of the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC web site offers detailed information on all types of disasters, including bioterrorism, chemical, radiation, and other threats, etc. and how to plan and cope with a disaster, manmade or natural.
Pandemic Flu www.pandemicfluandyou.org and www.pandemicflu.gov
These web sites offer information and links to current information regarding pandemic flu.
Camp Noah www.campnoah.org
Developed by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Camp Noah is a week long, faith-based day camp offered for elementary-age children who have experienced a disaster staffed by trained counselors, mental health professionals and volunteers. Camp Noah combines recovery support for children with fun filled recreation to form a unique and healing experience. Congregations can provide volunteer teams that provide volunteers to work directly with children, financial support to cover costs, or in-kind contributions of arts and crafts supplies.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans www.thriventbuilds.com
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a faith-based membership organization called to improve the quality of life of its members, their families and their communities as it cares for others. Thrivent is working with Habitat for humanity to build homes in areas that have been affected by disasters. This web site provide the information you need to learn how you can volunteer.
God’s Care in Times of Crisis A resource manual for training Christian School Teams and Administrators to meet crisis situations. Also available to lead workshops.
Contact Authors: Rick Armstrong @ email@example.com
Ann Eissfeldt @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Practical Information on Crisis Planning www.ed.gov/emergencyplan
Excellent U.S. Department of Education resource for all schools as they develop their emergency
preparedness and response plans. Can be downloaded or will send a copy on request.
Available from Concordia Publishing House www.cph.org
Where Is God Now? Item #51-3004web $2.60ea
Written for survivors, a “Portals of Prayer” style /size devotional book of 60 devotions, prayers,
Scripture readings, hymns, and disaster information is intended for use following a disaster.
Augsburg Fortress Publishing House www.augsburgfortress.org