September Disaster Preparedness Month
Mr. Gary Roller
September is National Preparedness Month. As wildfires continue to burn in parts of our nation and communities in our synod clean up from August floods, this is a good time to take steps so you and your family and your congregation are ready when a disaster hits. FEMA's 2018 Preparedness month campaign, "Disasters Happen, Prepare Now, Learn How," suggests four focus areas for preparedness:
Sept. 1-8 Make a plan and practice it
Sept 9-15 Learn a lifesaving skill
Sept 16-22 Check your insurance coverage
Sept 23-29 Save for an emergency
Information and resources about each of these steps are available at https://www.ready.gov/september.
Faith-based communities also need to be prepared and can begin with the same basic four steps: 1) be sure your congregation has an emergency response plan; 2) check first aid kits and steps to take if emergency medical help is needed; 3) review your congregation's insurance coverage; and 4) review financial resources available should there be an unexpected disaster that impacts your building. The support and services provided by congregations and faith-based social service and disaster programs are integral to all phases of the disaster cycle. Congregations can offer comfort and hope, prayer and worship services/events, and be a voice for justice and healing. They also offer their buildings for shelters, help to feed persons displaced by disaster and provide much needed labor in the long term recovery and rebuilding process. Be sure that your congregation has a disaster plan in place. Learn about how your mission dollars aid ELCA Disaster Response to help around the world. Get to know the emergency responders in your community - ask how you can help and then get involved. Our synod's LDR Team has resources available for congregations at https://upstatenysynod.org/lutheran-disaster-response.
Volunteers are needed to be part of our synod's LDR Leadership Team and individual conference teams. The Team is also available to assist congregations in planning steps. Contact LDR Volunteer Coordinator, Gary Roller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't delay 'til another day - "Disasters Happen, Prepare Now, Learn How."