Disaster Response and Preparation Training Oct. 5
Participants from around Indiana gathered at Fort Wayne Good Shepherd for the UMCOR Disaster Response and Preparation training on Saturday, October 5.

Attendees were trained by three UMCOR disaster response specialists on the following:
1.  Connecting Neighbors – How churches can be prepared to respond to a disaster in a family, church and community
2.  Early Response Team (ERT) – Physically and emotionally help disaster survivors in Indiana and out of state
3.  ERT Re-certification  – Renew and update ERT badges
4.  ERT Team Leader – Lead and organize a church or district team

Guests shared their appreciation for the opportunity to network with their peers, gain practical information, and (of course) the BBQ lunch. The Connecting Neighbors course included follow-up from the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Cindy Garver in an effort to support and help churches take first steps to apply their new knowledge.

Why should my church be trained for disaster response?
It CAN happen to you, your church, and your community. Disasters are all local. Whether hit by a tornado or a prolonged power outage, those affected are in need. The Bible teaches us that, as faithful disciples, we are to reach out to help.

I can’t do the physical work. Is there training for other kinds of disaster response?
YES! The Connecting Neighbors Training shows how to help families, churches, and communities cooperatively prepare. Preparation involves organizing volunteer, teaching, inspiring, forging relationships with first responders and community agencies, and creating a plan. All of these efforts are just as important as the physical clean-up work. In fact, they can help ease the impact and speed up the response when facing disaster.

Why is church team training recommended?
When working together, we can accomplish greater things by pooling resources and ideas. We inspire one another and build relationships within our congregation. Working together toward a common goal is rewarding.