Are you prepared for a disaster at home or in your community?
You, your home, church, ministry, or region are not immune to natural or human-caused disaster.
In order to provide continuity of ministry in your community, everything in effective disaster response depends upon:
- your personal and family readiness, and
- planning and preparation at your local church and ministry, .
When a disaster strikes, you will be hands and feet of Christ in your community. It is your responsibility to:
- prepare yourself and your home,
- participate in the preparation of your church and your business or ministry,
- be a part of your community preparedness and response as you are able, before a disaster strikes, and
- be in communication with your church, District Office, the District Disaster Response Coordinator, or the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator.
Disaster preparedness and response should be a continuous process that includes planning for action throughout the phases of disaster: Readiness, Rescue, Relief, Recovery and Review. In smaller disasters, these phases can move quickly, in larger ones, they can span several months or even years.
Our Conference and Districts are very large. If you do not tell your District Superintendent and the Conference there is a problem, they may not know in a timely manner.
To assist you in your planning, the following guides are available:
- Personal and Family Readiness Checklist - How ready are you and your family for a disaster? This checklist is intended to help guide you in assessing where you are, and where you need to be. Check out this guide from our friends at the Red Cross.
- Personal and Family Readiness Checklist - Spanish version.
- Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Family - Some have found this link helpful.
- Self-Care for Religious Leaders - Leaders in ministry are particularly vulnerable without a plan. This guide is provided to help in your readiness preparation.
- Summary Assessment and Planning Guide for Local Churches and Ministries - A top-level guide to help you get quickly started in your planning.
- 10-Step Guide for Developing Your Plan - An info-graphic developed for businesses and readily adapted for churches.
- Local Church and Ministry Planning Guide - a more detailed planning guide to assist your local church or ministry in developing or updating your plans.
- Planning for Vulnerable Neighbors - do you or your church have vulnerable neighbors?
- Planning for Individuals with Special Needs - do you or your church have members or neighbors with special needs?
Support For Our Disaster Ministries
Our disaster ministries are only made possible through your financial support of UMCOR and our Conference funds. These are:
- UMCOR Advance #901670 - source of funds for grants to support needs within the U.S. and Caribbean region. Make your contribution at the link.
Basic Conference Plan - guidance for planning at all levels.
Functional Checklists - broken out from the Basic Plan as guides for actions you may be required to take in different phases of a crisis, when danger is immanent or has occurred, and for preparation of necessary after action reports:
- Local Church and Ministry Actions
- District Superintendent Actions
- Mission and Ministry Coordinator Actions
- Episcopal Actions
- Conference Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Actions
- Conference Volunteers in Mission Coordinator Actions
- Assessment Guide
Training and other aids
Training is available face-to-face and online from a variety of sources, including UMCOR and UMVIM trainers, the Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- National Weather Service Storm Ready Program - Are you, your church and your community ready for the storms of life? 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related. There are steps you can take to prepare your family, church, and community and mitigate your risks. Checkout this program and the links below.
- Living on Shaky Ground - A guide for how to survive earthquakes and tsunamis, one of the Prepare, Protect, and Recover resources available on the Oregon Emergency Management website.
- Tsunami Safe: Hospitality Begins With Safety - An online training designed for coastal hospitality workers, which applies to all our coastal church members. Available in English and Spanish. Takes about 30 minutes to complete.
- Oregon Tsunami Evacuation Maps - maps of coastal and near inland risk areas and evacuation routes from Local and Distant tsunamis.
- Oregon Tsunami Inundation Maps - links to detailed maps depicting projected inundation areas from local Cascadia Subduction Zone and Distant Alaska-Aluetian Subduction Zone earthquakes and tsunamis.
- U.S.Tsunami Warning Center - interactive map that displays tsunami Warnings, Advisorys, Watches, or Threats in effect.
- 2 Week Ready - Current recommendation is that you should be prepared to support yourself and your family with 2 weeks of supplies. This page gives some background information and recommendations for minimum supplies needed.
- Disaster Distress Helpline. Provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
- Red Cross Guide to Prepare Your Home and Family. Provides checklists and links to other resources to aid in your planning.
- Red Cross Mobile Apps have been developed for a variety of situations to provide a handy resource wherever you may be.
- FEMA has many resources available for planning and protecting your house of worship.
- FEMA has developed Ready.gov as a resource for personal and family planning and preparation.
- FEMA has developed their Emergency Management Institute to provide resident and online training for those involved in disaster management and response.
- Church World Services has a series of suggested ways you and your church can take action to minimize suffering.
- A video training library has been developed here to assist in your initial and recurring training (Note: These video are mostly hosted on YouTube and may require a browser the supports Flash to play).
- The PreparednessGuide.org site recommends the following additional resources:
- Disaster Ministry Handbook - Jamie Aten and David Boan, codirectors of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, provide a practical guide for disaster preparedness.
- Protecting Houses of Worship - FEMA has developed a series of resources for faith and community leaders to assist with preparing for various emergency situations.
Typical Role of UMCOR in Different Phases of Disaster - a guide of what to expect from UMCOR in responding to different levels of disaster.
We need your review and comments of our Conference plan to make this plan and related resources meaningful for your local, district, or conference level of responsibility. Direct your comments to the Conference Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, your District Superintendent, or Conference administrator, as appropriate.