HURRICANES. TORNADOES. WILDFIRES. FLOODS. In times like these, you’ve got to have a plan. That’s the message coming from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, especially for disaster-prone areas like those served by its Southeastern Synod (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee). The synod has answered the call by producing a digital form to help congregations prepare their disaster response. Developed by the Rev. Michael Jannett, Assistant to the Bishop for Formation and Communication, and the Rev. Dr. Morgan Gordy, Assistant to the Bishop for Disaster Ministry, the “Congregational Disaster Plan” form is now available on Brick River.
“We’ve had an active committee doing disaster prep and response work for quite some time,” Michael tells us. The committee created the form based on a denomination-wide disaster response program, and Michael used the Brick River platform to turn that document into a comprehensive online planning tool, complete with audio summaries and the ability to attach important records.
The form pumps congregations for info on emergency contacts, valuables, insurance coverage, vulnerabilities, alternate worship locations, and evacuation routes. It also asks them to inventory parishioners’ disaster-related skills, from providing medical or child care to wielding a chainsaw.
Michael hopes the form will aid churches of all denominations in their own disaster planning. “This is still experimental,” he says, “so I’m totally happy to share, with the caveat that we may have some kinks to work out in the long run.”
To access the Congregational Disaster Plan on Brick River, go to Form Share and search on "Congregational."