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Following a Disaster: Resources for Pastors

The Massachusetts Conference Disaster Resource Team is committed to helping your church in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. This protocol outlines the steps that will be taken to assist you.


Worship and prayer resources following natural disaster

Litanies, prayers, hymns and poems from the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Resources in times of terrorism, war and natural disaster available on The Text This Week

O God Tender and Just: Reflections and Responses after September 11, 2001, by Elizabeth C. Nordbeck.

On Frequent Journeys: Worship Resources on Uprooted Peoples, a book by Rebekah Chevalier.


Signs, Symptoms and Resources for those Impacted by Disaster and Trauma

There is a typical pattern of reaction and behavior that is common to all people who have been through a crisis, disaster or traumatic incident.  Read more about recognizing these behaviors here. Also read in this document:

  • Helpful Ways to Unload Stress
  • Emotional First Aid
  • Providing Support to a Child who has Experienced Trauma
  • Putting Our Hands in God's Hands: A Prayer to Release Trauma Anxiety

Signs, Symptoms and Resources for Those Impacted by Disaster and Trauma


How to Help Children Cope with Disaster

A new downloadable booklet by FEMA and the Red Cross:  Helping Children Cope with Disaster

A resource from Mr. Rogers:  Helping Children with Scary News


Do's and Don'ts after Disaster

All compassionate people want to respond following a disaster. Read this instructive blog by UCC pastor Jennifer Mills-Knutsen to learn what kind of help is truly helpful. 

Help that's helpful: Dos and Don'ts after Disaster


To share with your congregation from the EPA:  Planning for Natural Disaster Debris


Tips for effective use of the media...

In the event of a disaster or tragedy, ministers may be called upon to comment, make statements, offer hope, and occasionally speak on behalf of congregants. Media interviews can offer the opportunity for a healing experience and may help advocate for a cause. These tips can help prepare pastors, lay leaders, and congregants for the interview process.

Tips for Effective Use of the Media