Hurricanes Highlight Disaster Preparedness Month

Hurricanes Highlight Disaster Preparedness Month

Dear friends,
It's a sad coincidence that there's heightened awareness of disasters right now, during Disaster Preparedness Month. We are aware of the devastation Hurricane Harvey wreaked and we continue to watch Hurricane Irma as she strengthens and approaches landfall. Here are a couple of helpful resources for you as you have disaster preparedness conversations with your church councils and clergy associations:

Guidebook for Church Leaders
Disaster Preparedness Resources from the UCC
If you are a local church pastor or on church leadership, please make the effort to meet your town's Emergency Management Officer. One thing that's abundantly clear is that relationships matter. Establishing those relationships before they're necessary is part of preparedness planning.
For every dollar spent on disaster mitigation, there's a savings of $5 in disaster recovery. That's significant.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the UCC is working with CWS (Church World Service) to assemble clean up buckets and get them down to Texas. Info about the buckets here. UCC churches in Acton, Brockton, and West Springfield have all generously offered to serve as temporary drop-off locations (depots) through September 25. The Disaster Resource and Response Team will be collecting buckets from these churches and bringing them to the CWS depot in Meriden, CT.
We work with VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters) partners and do not send unsolicited in-kind donations as they often hinder recovery efforts. This video explains why.
Long-term recovery for Hurricane Harvey will take years. Long after Harvey becomes a distant memory for some, others will still be struggling to piece their lives back together. You can help with long-term efforts. Funds can be sent to the Conference or folks can make donations directly at the disaster ministries webpage. Make sure that checks indicate 'Hurricane Harvey relief' in the memo line. 
Estelle Margarones
Jim Tilbe
Co-chairs, Disaster Resource & Response Team
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