Following a Disaster: Resources for Churches


MACUCC TIMELINE FOR DISASTER RESPONSE

Our goal is to help our churches and pastors as they move through response, rescue and recovery towards a new normal. 

Within 12 hours:

  • Conference Minister (CM) sends out pastoral email and update to Conference Churches  
  • Associate Conference Ministers (ACMs) begin contacting churches and specialized ministries (clergy and laity) via texting (optimal mode of communication in the wake of a disaster) or direct contact to offer support and assess need
  • MACUCC Board of Directors (BOD) and Association BOD or Executive Committee may assist in this contact
  • Determine who will take point to guide Disaster Resource and Response Team (DRRT) through disaster timeline/protocol
  • Conference Minister (CM) and Associate Conference Ministers (ACMs) coordinate with DRRT and Administrative Assistant
  • Contact National UCC Disaster Ministries to activate resources and support

Within 36 hours:

  • CM calls pastors in damage zone (parish and non-parish settings)
  • CM/ACM visit if possible (with help from BOD and Executive Committee as appropriate)
  • Send email update to churches and post on web
  • Contact National Disaster Ministries
  • Connect with Disaster Partners (note list at the end of this document)
  • CM, ACM, DRRT and Admin. Assistant continue to compare and update information
  • Mentoring/Coaching assignments are made for each pastor/church/specialized ministry in impacted area
  • Send email update and/or text messages to churches and post on web
  • Begin conversations on potential funding needs and connect with National UCC on resources

Within First Week:

  • Collaborate with rescue and recovery efforts
  • Continue meetings to collaborate support and relief efforts
  • Keep Conference Churches informed as needed and National UCC
  • Assess, stabilize and support churches and specialized ministries in the disaster zone...ministering in and through them
    1. This will include practical, emotional and spiritual needs
  • Work with and through partners

Second Week through 3 months:

  • Continue support in and through local churches and specialized ministries
  • Continue support to pastors, consider lunch gatherings
  • Support and Educate churches about delivery of benefits protocol including FEMA application deadlines
  • Provide ‘debriefs’ if helpful: Clergy, Laity and Volunteers
  • Conference staff continues to collaborate information gathered
  • Continue collaboration with Disaster Partners and National UCC, including application for funds through UCC National Disaster Ministries
  • Collaborate and coordinate with efforts of immediate responders
  • Facilitate assistance from Conference Churches and send Thank You notes
  • Continue Communication to Conference Churches
  • Begin conversations and education around Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) formation
  • Gather stories of storm impact and recovery efforts to update Conference churches

3 Months and Beyond:

  • Support Efforts of Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) and local church pastors
  • Continue Collaboration with Disaster Partners
  • Continue communication and coordination with Conference Churches
  • Facilitate Assistance with National UCC
  • Assist in coordinating out of region disaster volunteers
  • Begin evaluations to gather lessons learned and best practices
  • Develop a plan for long term monitoring of pastors (and their families), churches and recovery efforts
  • Recruit experienced people who are willing to be future mentors, coaches and team members

 

Resources for Ongoing and Advanced Preparedness

Ongoing Preparation

  • Send out email with suggestions and preparations in general about disasters
  • Seek host churches for out of state disaster response volunteers
  • Provide workshops for church preparedness
    • Emotional resilience
    • Media usage training
    • Church and personal preparedness: Including directions for “Shelter in Place” resources.
  • Assist churches to connect with their local community disaster response protocol and people
  • Provide online and social media training and educational resources including web-links to existing resources
  • Recruit and train additional clergy and lay experienced mentors and volunteers
  • Explore trauma remediation and resilience resources and trainings
  • Provide resources for annual emergency preparedness day/month

Advanced Preparation: 

  • Send out email with suggestions and preparations when Disaster is predicted
  • Discuss disaster response timeline/protocols with church leadership
  • Contact local disaster management officials to learn about disaster response timeline/protocols and any role the church is expected to play 
  • Discuss disaster response timeline/protocols with ecumenical and civil society partners

Disaster Partners:

  • FEMA
  • MEMA
  • VOAD
  • RED CROSS
  • ECUMENICAL PARTNERS
  • UNITED WAY
  • SALVATION ARMY
  • SPECIALIZED MINISTRIES PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS