Hurricane Laura slammed Louisiana last Thursday as a deadly Category 4 storm. In Lake Charles, roofs were peeled off, buildings ripped apart, and lampposts scattered like twigs. This storm reminded us again that disasters come and can catch us unprepared for the devastation left behind. Being prepared increases our ability to survive and to respond effectively to help those affected.
The wisdom writer in Ecclesiastes 10:10 declared, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength, however the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success.” Preparing the edge by sharpening the blade will enable the tool to be more effective, just as training helps believers to serve more effectively in response to the survivors of disasters.
Top ten reasons to be trained in disaster relief:
- Training prepares us in our understanding of disasters and the needs that arise in times of disaster.
- Training enables us to respond in appropriate and effective ways in times of disaster.
- Training prepares us to understand our role as part of a disaster team. Emergency Managers often list untrained volunteers as one of their greatest problems in times of disaster.
- Training enables us to sharpen our abilities, in order to be an asset not a hindrance in the response. Spontaneous volunteers typically lack familiarity with situational assessments and incident management. Because of this, they usually end up being in the way, rather than providing meaningful help.
- Training helps us to understand hazards and safety concerns in disaster areas. Untrained volunteers are much more likely to be injured in disaster response as they are unaware of risk factors.
- Training prepares us to understand in a deeper way some of the trauma of disaster victims that we might be able to offer appropriate compassion.
- Training prepares the hands to be ready to serve effectively. Becoming trained enables you to respond with appropriate skills and right resources.
- Training prepares the head by giving us needed knowledge that prepares our readiness. Untrained volunteers are often unprepared to work long, stressful days in austere and rugged living conditions.
- Training and relating to a known disaster response group enables better security in disaster areas. Untrained volunteers create atmospheres where scam artists, who seek to prey on hurting and vulnerable people, can get access into disaster settings under the guise of being a volunteer.
- But the greatest reason to train is that God deserves our very best in all that we do and to achieve the best requires discipline, effort, and knowledge.
Disasters will come. Therefore, let me encourage you, be prepared to serve by being trained. Victims deserve that, and even more importantly, God deserves that.
Upcoming Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief trainings are scheduled for:
September 12, 2020 at Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow
January 9, 2021 at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville
February 6, 2021 at Harlan Baptist Church
March 20, 2021 at First Baptist Church of Murray
April 10, 2021 at Red House Baptist Church in Richmond
You can learn how to become connected and register for training through Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief at http://www.kybaptist.org/dr .