Disaster Preparedness and Church Safety Training
Did you know that one of the ways Mary Bates serves NALC congregations is to offer church safety and disaster preparedness training? My congregation, Christ the King Lutheran in Evans, Georgia, recently invited Mary to come train members of our congregation. She gave us a great deal of information and our disaster response team is now planning for a mission trip to help with ongoing recovery and repair efforts. Is this something that your church might be interested in? Check with Mary to learn more about both the training and the opportunities to help in the wake of disaster. You can find more information on the disaster response webpage. You can also contact Mary directly by phone, 740-509-1132 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I had the opportunity to talk with Mary, I asked about inventory levels in the disaster response warehouses around the country. She told me that they had sent almost all the personal care kits to Kentucky in response to the tornadoes. If your church is looking for a spring disaster response project, please strongly consider putting together personal care kits.
At my first Disaster Response Taskforce meeting, a warehouse manager mentioned that they periodically receive incomplete kits. This is problematic because sometimes kits come in and need to be sent within 24 hours to areas recently hit by disaster. You will find the kit list attached to the newsletter and it is always available on the WNALC website. Regardless of what type of kit you are assembling, it is important to put all the requested items in each kit. Please contact Mary or the manager of your nearest warehouse with any questions.
When you look at the Disaster Response list of different kits, please note that baby kits are no longer collected. If your church has a desire to provide for babies’ needs, disposable baby diapers are always needed by those recovering from disaster. Disaster Response collects all sizes!
According to Mary, they do not currently need flood buckets. Don’t worry, we will let you know when the supply on hand needs to be restocked.
Helpful suggestions for saving money while supporting NALC Disaster Response:
- Quilts and blankets: shop thrift stores for fabric to use when making quilts and tie blankets.
- Personal care kits: encourage people to donate items for personal care kits or put their own together. Work with the youth to put the kits together.
- Flood buckets: ask local bakeries for their empty 5-gallon frosting buckets and lids, look for sales and shop “dollar stores” for the items that go in the buckets.
- Hold a “Stuff the Tonka” event to collect gift cards for Lowes, Walmart, and Home Depot.
- Disaster Response teams would like to give a bible to each affected household and/or person. Browse the thrift stores for used Bibles and ask your congregation to donate those that they no longer use. Have members & youth write prayers and messages of hope in them.
- School kits: look for gently used back packs and duffle bags at second-hand and thrift stores; use them for packing school supply kits.
- Write a Thrivent grant to underwrite some of the cost of any of the above projects.
- Hold a Stuff the Truck – or trailer event at your church and/or mission district meeting to collect completed kits, blankets, quilts, and Bibles for delivery to a nearby warehouse.