Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
networking for disaster preparedness
A few weeks into the new year and winter weather has already left its mark. Being ready for what comes (in any season!) is more important than ever, as the increasing effects of climate change impact everything around us. WILLING TO RESPOND is Week of Compassion’s way to network congregations for disaster preparedness and response.
Recently, through the Willing to Respond network, Week of Compassion connected two Disciples churches, rooted in quite different settings, about their need for and interest in a Congregational Preparedness Plan. These churches are finding new relationship and support in their common concern.
helping churches think ahead for disaster readiness
Week of Compassion is part of the Willing to Respond network, providing a registry of willing congregations and a library of vetted resources, to connect churches and organizations for disaster preparedness and response.
To mark National Preparedness Month (September), Week of Compassion is sharing the current issue of the Willing to Respond newsletter, sent every other month to registered Disciples congregations. WTR also provides churches with training, tips, and tools to reduce risk and be ready to assist neighbors when disaster strikes.
For information and to register as a WTR congregation, go to WillingToRespond.org
We are excited to be part of the launch of a new tool for networking congregations for disaster preparedness and response: Willing to Respond!
As a registry of willing congregations and a library of vetted resources, this tool will help us connect with you and introduce you to other congregations and organizations in your area. It also provides your congregation with training, tips, and tools to reduce your risk and be ready to help your neighbors when disaster strikes.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey (Aug. 2017), West Street Recovery emerged as a community based disaster recovery organization. Over the past four years, it has grown into an adaptable, rapid response organization, helping communities deal not only with the impacts of Harvey, but also Tropical Storm Imelda, COVID-19, and the February 2021 Winter Storm. Each disaster has amplified race- and class-based injustice; widened the financial gap between BIPOC and white households; and negatively impacted the health of economically and racially marginalized communities. In response, WSR has developed a community organizing program that seeks to empower communities by helping them prepare for future disasters and by building networks of mutual care in Northeast Houston. This combination of service provision and organizing allows WSR to meet immediate needs while addressing persistent, underlying issues of poverty, low-quality housing, and environmental risk factors.
Even as we enter September--National Disaster Preparedness Month-- we are monitoring Hurricane Dorian and preparing to respond to needs that arise in its wake. The storm has already caused significant damage in the Bahamas, and remains a dangerous storm as it approaches the U.S. Please continue to pray for those who have already been affected, and those who wait in the storm’s path. We will continue to share updates on responses as they are available. In the meantime, here is a story about how local churches and regions are taking part in disaster preparedness training through Week of Compassion-- and why preparedness is such a vital part of ministry in the local community.
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