National Disaster Preparedness Month

A report from Katie Mears, director of ERD’s Disaster Preparedness and Response
Disaster Preparedness Training

Katie Mears will be the special guest trainer at a training event hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas and Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team. The training will be Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., at St. Luke’s, North Little Rock. Email Ginger Bankston Bailey, diocesan disaster coordinator, for more information.

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, a time to think about how prepared you are as an individual, in your family, in your church, and in your work.

What would you do if there were a tornado? A fire? A shooting? A pandemic?

An easy way to approach disaster preparedness is to do a drill ­– either physically like a fire drill at when you were in school, or as a conversation with your family or congregation’s leadership.

After that drill and the conversation that follows, you should be able to come up with practical steps to keep yourself safe, access accurate and up-to-date information and get back to normal, should something ever happen.

For ideas and templates, see Ready.gov or Episcopal Relief & Development’s preparedness resources. You can find social media badges and bulletin inserts here:

At Episcopal Relief & Development, we partner with churches around the world as they respond to disasters and help vulnerable people make a full and sustained recovery. In the past year, that has meant working with local partners in 15 countries as they respond to disasters, including the United States, where we partnered with the Diocese of Arkansas after the devastating tornados this spring. Through this partnership, we were able to equip the diocesan disaster response team with the resources they needed to distribute gift cards to those most in need following the disaster.

Impact Story: Helping Those Most In Need

One father came to the One Stop Shop in Vilonia. He had been released from the hospital earlier that morning. He had difficulty in walking and had sustained other serious injuries. His wife and child were still in the hospital. He had seen his home and property on his way to the One Stop, and his family had lost everything. He was wearing a donated shirt and shorts from a church member. We had watched him go from table to table filling out paperwork. He needed gas, food and clothing. We gave him two $100 cards and he burst into tears and sobbed.

Staff from Episcopal Relief & Development will be in the diocese later this fall to learn about the Diocese of Arkansas’ tornado response work, and to hold a preparedness training for congregational leaders. It will be held on Nov. 1 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Little Rock. Anyone wishing to attend or learn more information should contact Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team at ar.edrt@gmail.com.