Disaster Response

It is that time of year again when we need to be reminded that we live in South Florida and Hurricane Season is right around the corner. Again the preliminary forecast is for an above average season of activity in the Atlantic basin.

Is your congregation and community prepared?

Presbyterian Women and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance have combined forces to develop a training program to see that congregations and communities are prepared for all types of disasters and emergencies. We live in a very fluid society with new residents joining us each year; residents who don’t necessarily have the experience with the types of weather events that South Florida takes for granted. It is important that we provide care and support for these neighbors.

As chair of the Disaster Response Team for the Presbytery, I am offering training classes, either in person or virtual, to individual churches for their congregations or as an outreach to their neighborhoods. The programs can be tailored to the individual needs of the community and can cover simple hurricane preparedness or a wider range of disaster events, both natural and man-made.

The programs can be scheduled for 1 – 1 ½ hours, half day or full day workshops. They are available to be done during the day or in the evening.  You might consider joining together with a nearby congregation (PCUSA or otherwise) to reach a wider audience.

Availability is limited, so book your date quickly.

In addition to the training programs, we also offer support for creating a disaster plan for your facility.

I look forward to working with you and your congregation to prepare for any emergency. Just as we are told to be prepared for the coming of the bridegroom and have oil for our lamps 

(Matt 25:1-13), we need to be prepared for the challenges we may face in this world.

Schedule an evaluation or training contact: Barbara Hassall, Chair, at 305-469-4499 or barbara.hassall01@gmail.com.

  • Congregational Disaster Response Coordinator(s) selected and trained. (3 year term)
  • Congregational Directory updated at least quarterly. (Including e-mail addresses.)
  • List of congregational members with special needs noted and updated annually Insurance Policies reviewed annually and saved in multiple locations.
  • Financial and Session records saved electronically and stored in multiple locations monthly.
  • Inventory of physical plant made and updated annually. Video record recommended.
  • Consultation with local ARC and EMA re: possible shelters in the area.
  • Consultation with local EMA re: possible disaster scenarios. Develop plans for each.
  • Share emergency kit information with congregation. Kits can be assembled and distributed by groups within the church to elderly and special needs congregation.
  • Coordinate with local/state VOADs to ascertain response partners and roles of each.
  • Determine if the physical plant can be used as an emergency shelter, point of distribution, etc.
  • Develop a communication system within the congregation (i.e. phone tree,Shepherds, etc.)
  • Familiarize the congregation with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Disaster Response Ministry of the Synod of South Atlantic.
  • Subscribe to Mission Mosaic (free) from PDA.
  • Help create a network of response throughout the Presbytery.

Questions or Concerns?

Call Ken McKenzie, Synod Disaster Response Coordinator
912-399-5717

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