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How Churches and Families Can Prepare for Disasters

Recent events underscore the importance of emergency preparedness.
How Churches and Families Can Prepare for Disasters
Image: Thinkstock Photos

Below are practical steps churches and families can take to prepare for and respond to emergencies, and lessons from churches in New York and New Orleans who suffered through natural and manmade disasters.

What churches have learned

Right after 9/11, Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City was flooded with requests for help—and with generous gifts from all over to help meet those needs. Because their church had an organized diaconate with trained leaders, Redeemer was able to distribute assistance much more efficiently than groups arriving after the event. "We saw many other relief efforts spend a great deal of money on hiring new staff and renting office space—very high cost items," says Tim Keller. This may be a good lesson to support existing churches and ministries when we can, rather than "build our own."

One lesson Redeemer learned from 9/11 was to watch for burnout among their staff. "We did not recognize the danger as much as we should have," ...

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