By Louise Van Poll

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is more than just helping after a disaster strikes. Through Presbyterian Women, PDA also trains and certifies Disaster Preparedness (DP) trainers to help congregations in each Presbytery plan an emergency response to a variety of disasters. Each step in becoming more prepared cultivates encouragement and hope in the face of a crisis. Where there is a plan, people remain calm because they have some control. Fear and panic step in when people feel helpless and overwhelmed by circumstances.

One brief story came from Beth Snyder from the PDA office in Louisville.

“Recently I was at my presbytery meeting. I am good friends with the secretary of the church where we were meeting and as we were talking a church member came in with the news that one of their members was being taken to the hospital and in need of prayer. That member didn’t have a lot of information and my friend didn’t have the son’s cell phone number so she left a message on the home answering machine to please call the church office with more information. I took that opportunity to suggest that she ask for all the members to provide her and the pastor with emergency contact information. They thought that was a great idea and right then prepared an announcement for the church bulletin! One small preparedness step!”

What a great idea. If your congregation has not done this already, make it your resolution to start this list in 2020.

I am a certified PW-DP trainer and am available to lead a disaster preparedness workshop in your church or community.