Congregation Disaster Readiness Training

West Ohio Conference has UMCOR trained leaders to help local churches develop a disaster ministry. Churches can better provide a caring Christian response to local disasters if they have prepared their church families and facility before disaster occurs. Connecting Neighbors addresses the faith community's responsibility in disaster readiness and response and suggests tools to meet individual and community needs.

The Connecting Neighbors curriculum consists of an overview of disaster ministry, three modules and supporting handouts.

Begin with a Disaster Ministry Overview - provides foundational information especially useful for modules 2 and 3.

  • Participants will understand how our United Methodist structure enhances the local church’s capabilities for disaster readiness and response
  • Budget about 30-60 minutes for this overview.
  • Target Audience: Everyone.

Module 1: Ready Congregants focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster-ready.

  • Objectives: Participants will be inspired to take action in order to prepare themselves, their households and others before and immediately following a disaster.
  • Time: Budget about two hours for this unit.
  • Target Audience: Everyone.

Module 2: Ready Churches emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property, before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response.

  • Objectives: Participants will (1) identify one or more steps to take in order to mitigate against disaster-caused damage to property; (2) identify one or more steps to take in order to prevent harm to people who are present in or on church property when disasters or emergencies occur; and (3) be able to assess the utilization of church property following a disaster within or near the community of the church.
  • Time: Budget about two hours for this unit.
  • Target Audience: Everyone, especially church leaders including, but not limited to, pastors, trustees, Sunday school superintendent, lay leader, missions coordinator, treasurer and finance committee members, young adult and youth representatives, and others.

Module 3: Ready Response encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

  • Objectives: Participants will (1) be able to identify at least one disaster ministry their church might be willing and able to implement before and/or after a community disaster; and (2) initiate a preliminary plan to engage the church and to cooperate with other households of faith and the community in order to be prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.
  • Time: Budget about two hours for this unit.
  • Target Audience: Everyone interested in disaster-ready congregations and communities, particularly mission and outreach personnel, lay leaders, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, youth ministry leaders, lay servants and Stephen’s Ministers! 

If you would like to have an UMCOR trained leader to work with your congregation, please contact Jeff Walker at 740.323.4602 or jwalker [at] (subject: Connecting%20Neighbors)