Disasters often strike with little warning, and no community is beyond the reach of natural or man-made catastrophes. Because of this, a church must plan on how to respond to disasters, large and small.
Studies indicate that most businesses, organizations, and churches fail to prepare for any kind of disaster event. For the church, this can mean missing a great opportunity to demonstrate the life-changing power of Christ.
Is your church ready if disaster strikes?
A response strategy plan should:
- Assess the most likely disaster threats
- Be flexible and adaptable
- Consider the needs of individuals and families
- Focus on specific ministries and target strategic gaps of need
- Develop a disaster relief leadership team
- Include a review of potential church resources that could be utilized in disaster response (The church’s greatest resource may be making their facility available to meet the needs of those affected)
- Make training a key part of preparation
- Center on ministries that fit the giftedness of the church body
- Coordinate their strategy with local emergency management and other disaster relief partners
- Remember that prayer is always appropriate and is the greatest act of compassion that we can offer
- Share the hope and Good News of Christ
The church that is prepared can make a difference in their community when a disaster hits. Disaster preparedness can enable us to offer help, healing, and hope to our hurting neighbors.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
(1 John 3:18)
Need help getting prepared? Check out these resources available through the North American Mission Board:
- The goal of Disaster Relief Church Preparedness Manual is to assist churches to prepare for disaster by developing a strategy to minister to their communities during crisis through preparing their facilities, training their members, securing supplies, and developing protocols that will activate their disaster response plan.
- Here’s additional information about preparing for a flu pandemic that might be helpful for churches.
- The goal of the Disaster Relief Associational Preparedness Manual is to help associational leadership learn about disaster relief needs and resources in their area, evaluate their disaster relief possibilities, and develop plans and protocols to assist churches in responding to the community following a disaster.
- The goal of the Disaster Relief Family Preparedness Manual is to help families learn about the disaster hazards in their community and develop a plan to survive after a disaster event as well as to minister to others.