disaste preparedness month 2014 image femaSeptember’s National Preparedness Month aims to educate and empower Americans to be ready for natural disasters and other emergencies.

Pennsylvania fared well this summer with no hurricane or tropical storm activity, which makes last winter’s harsh and devastating weather easy to forget. But the seasons are changing again, which provides new opportunities for damaging weather, not to mention man-made disaster situations. That’s why now is the time to prepare yourself, your family and your congregation.

Through education and preparedness tools, Liberty’s Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA program works year-round to help families, neighbors and communities build their resiliency following a crisis.

tree clean up 3Here are some simple planning steps for families:

Decide a family meeting place following a disaster

Create a disaster supplies kit

Keep you cell phone charged and purchase a car charger or even a solar charger to use in the event of a power outage.

For more tips, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website. Alerts about severe weather, emergencies, and road closures in Pennsylvania are available on your mobile phone and email – click here to learn more.

Planning for Congregations

Lutheran Disaster Response-EPA is pleased to announce that a new Congregational Disaster Preparedness Guide is available at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s website. The guide provides a step-by-step guide for congregations to create a comprehensive plan in the event of a disaster. The guide will also help equip your church with the necessary tools needed to respond to community needs after a disaster strikes.

This valuable resource includes guidance assessing damaging to church buildings and property and navigating insurance claims. It also helps address spiritual and emotional needs.

Through education and preparedness tools, Liberty’s Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA program works year-round to help families, neighbors and communities build their resiliency following a crisis.
Through education and preparedness tools, Liberty’s Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA program works year-round to help families, neighbors and communities build their resiliency following a crisis.

LDR-EPA was asked by the ELCA to create this manual for congregations, thanks to our long history of providing disaster response and preparedness to the region since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Since then, LDR-EPA, fellow Lutherans, and friends in the community have mobilized to meet the long-term needs of people in our region, as well as in notable disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Joplin, Missouri tornadoes.

Along the way, one of our most valuable lessons learned is the value of being prepared for disasters, at the individual, community and congregational level.

“Our programs not only seek to help congregations after a disaster event, but also by doing the tedious work of preparing for them through developing plans and protocols,” says Julia Menzo, Disaster Response Co-Coordinator, Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA. “The opportunity to author this new resource is an honor, as it allows us to contribute to building better prepared congregations not only locally, but across the country and maybe even beyond!”

Four free downloads are available here:

The entire manual

The congregational preparedness section

The congregational response section

Worksheets 

LDR-Eastern PA staff are available to talk about disaster preparedness, response and building resiliency in your congregation or provide contracted services to help your congregation create its own disaster preparedness plan. For more information, contact Pr. Jennifer Ollikainen, jennifer@lutherancongregationalservices.org, Ruth Doty, ruth@lutherancongregationalservices.org, or Julia Menzo, jmenzo@libertylutheran.org.

Click here for more information about LDR-EPA or call 610-770-9205.

 

 

 

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