Surviving a Disaster, for Churches


Our goal is to help our churches and pastors and, with and through them, those impacted by disaster (mindful that disaster is in the eye of the beholder) as they move through response, rescue and recovery towards a new normal. 

Within 12 Hours:

  • Conference Minister sends out pastoral email and update to Conference churches  
  • Associate Conference Ministers begin contacting churches and specialized ministries (clergy and laity) via phone and email or direct contact to offer support and assess need
  • MACUCC Board of Directors and Association Board of Directors or Executive Committee may assist in this contact
  • Determine who will take point to guide Disaster Response Team (DRT) through protocol
  • Conference Minister (CM) and Associate Conference Ministers (ACM) coordinate with DRT and admin assist.

Within 36 Hours:

  • CM calls pastors in damage zone (parish and non-parish settings)
  • CM/ACM visit if possible (again, 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
  • CM, ACM, DRT and admin assist continue to compare and update information
  • Mentoring/coaching assignments are made for each pastor/church/specialized ministry in impacted area
  • Send email update 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 formation
  • Gather stories of storm impact and recovery efforts to update Conference churches

3 Months and Beyond:

  • Support efforts of Long Term Recovery Groups 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


Disaster Resource Team – 2/16