How Can My Church Help?

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In disaster response, the local church provides early assistance to those affected by disaster.

Your church has the opportunity to open its doors in a time of disaster by providing sanctuary, setting up a shelter, providing meals, serving as a relief supply drop site or distribution center, or addressing other community or response needs. A large role of the church is to provide spiritual and emotional care to those needing it.  Then, when the church engages, with the community, in long term recovery, the door is opened for the Conference and UMCOR to be able to offer support and resources to the community and those affected.

The Arkansas Conference offers three training opportunities for local churches to be better equipped to serve their communities and other communities in the aftermath of a disaster – Disaster 101, Connecting Neighbors (Local Church Preparedness) and Early Response Team.

Local church disaster response letter invitation

Disaster 101 Training

Local Church Teams

Local Church Coordination Team

Early Response Training

Be Prepared as a Local Church

“Connecting Neighbors” is a program that gives congregations the tools and information they need to guide the development of their disaster-response ministries. Congregations that invest their time in “Connecting Neighbors” training are better prepared for what emergencies may come, able to draw on local resources more quickly in the wake of a disaster and more confident that United Methodists will be a resource for community recovery. We know churches can better provide a caring Christian response to local disasters if they have prepared their church families and facility before disaster occurs. Connecting Neighbors addresses the faith community’s responsibility in disaster readiness and response and suggests tools to meet individual and community needs. In this training you will be taught the Connecting Neighbors program, how to connect the church to outside resources and to the community’s emergency plans; where the church fits in and how the church can help the community at large.

The Arkansas Conference offers “Connecting Neighbors”, a training geared toward guiding local churches in preparing for and responding to disasters in their own communities and beyond. This training is an overview of how disaster response works locally, district wide, conference wide, and how it is supported by the Jurisdiction and UMCOR as well as how it fits into the overall response within the community or communities affected.

Individual and Families

At the Church

Facility

Plan

Organization

***Add pictures of Red Cross shelter pictures, feeding out of a facility, training conference picture, donation center (gymnasium).

Engaging in Community Efforts

Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) Development

Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) Development

Relationships (Partners, Government)