Saturday, December 07, 2019

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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.
Tag » Disaster Preparedness

 With over 60 million people likely affected by Hurricane Sandy due to make landfall hours from now carrying 8 -12 foot water surges and two feet of snow in some areas it will likely paralyze the east coast for several days if not weeks. Over 900 miles of the U.S. east coast and inland as far as the Michigan will be affected. And with one week or more of power outages in the area commonly transacting business that affects the nation, we are all likely to feel the effects even if we do not live on the east coast and have to go to shelters. This has the potential to become the largest storm in the history of the U.S. as 90 mile an hour winds are unsustainable in terms of key infrastructure. For most people today just being without their cell phone alone produces anxiety, much less the frustration which comes from over 8,000 flights which have been cancelled now affecting flights coast to coast. Then, if you factor the frustrations of not being able to get to meetings with the transit systems shut down, you now have a perfect storm in not only the physical arena but the spiritual, emotional and mental one as well.

CEN would agree with much of what FEMA Director Craig Fugate, a well respected first responder with a wealth of experience, said yesterday: “It’s going to really come down to the public heeding those evacuation orders, taking protective measures. If they haven’t gotten ready, they can go to Ready.gov Get information on how to protect them and their families, but also check on your neighbors. This is going to be a big storm. We need to be there for each other.” His reference to “we need to be there for each other” is a striking departure from the traditional FEMA Ready messaging - make your own plan, make your own kit and get informed. The Director is now calling for us to help each other rather than merely thinking of ourselves. 

As Christians we know we need to be there for each other and we need to “be there” spiritually, emotionally, mentally as well as physically. Since the government website, while filled with much good information, cannot help you learn how to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to help yourself and others from a biblical worldview, CEN has developed the ReadyChristian training program as a self-study or small group study in order to develop a support response network of family and friends, to prepare and to respond biblically to crisis of all kinds, large or small.

October 18, 2012 is the nationwide Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. This event, sponsored by FEMA, encourages people to know what to do in order to prepare for earthquakes.

Tomorrow, join more than 13 million people nationwide in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. Register here!

"Earthquakes occur all year long across our country – in a lot of places you wouldn’t expect," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "For the Great ShakeOut, we’re asking everyone to take just a minute out of your day to drop, cover and hold on, and practice what you would do during an actual earthquake."

During National Preparedness Month FEMA Deputy Administrator Tim Manning stressed that most emergency management professionals believe that his agency has made significant progress since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, Manning also argued that most Americans are not sufficiently prepared for natural disasters.

While Manning does not support his view with specific data, CEN would share his opinion. CEN recognized that the Church itself did not have a heart problem in wanted to respond and it did not even have a resource problem at the local level, but the Church has a huge “FACILITATION” problem in harnessing its own resources and leveraging them with the Gospel. This is why CEN created the ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch and ReadyCity programs to assist the Christian community in biblical readiness and response for such a time as this.

 “But I cannot afford it!” How often we hear that answer. Yet, many believe mistakenly that they cannot afford to prepare. Having an evacuation communication plan with your family and rinsing out used milk containers then filling them with water is not a matter of cost. It is a matter of attitude followed by action. Picking up one more can of beans and stocking up for a couple of months is not costly since you rotate out the item and will use it anyway! This is why CEN offers ReadyChristian online training FREE so no one is unable to become biblically ready to respond.

Hurricane Isaac ResponseAs ReadyNewOrleans continues to provide CEN with the specifics on critical needs in the area the media has shifted off the story making it more difficult to generate human and material resources. Please visit the Hurricane Isaac response group at www.christianemergencynetwork.org indicating what you may be able to do to assist ReadyNewOrleans.

About 130 schools were still closed today in the Gulf region as survivors were digging themselves out of the flood regions. Emergency Management reports 13,000 homes were damaged and eight deaths occurred. Congressional leaders appear to be insuring that a steady flow of funding for the disaster relief continues, however there still seems to be a concern on the level of disaster funding available as FEMA’s current relief budget stands at $1.4 billion. Often overlooked MS received a visit from FEMA Craig Fugate who assured the community there would be funding available, as a federal disaster declaration had been made. As of September 4 over 4,000 people remain in shelters across the affected region. Meanwhile 90 pollution cases, not unexpected for an incident like this, are being investigated.

Please continue to pray for those affected by the storms and those who are responding. Likewise, take the precautionary steps to ready yourself and your family for times of crisis. 

This week the people of New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Region are once again facing a disastrous storm. The storm has been officially downgraded to a Tropical Storm, however the rain and flooding potential still remains a threat for the area.

To engage in the ReadyNewOrleans Response, here are some action steps:

  1. Commit to Prayer.  Pray for: (1) Citizens to seek God for comfort and protection to all who are in the path of Hurricane Isaac. (2) Citizens not directly affected will offer prayer, compassion and assistance in their community. (3) Hurricane Isaac will be lessened in intensity. (4) First responders. 
  2. Join the Hurricane Isaac Response Group
  3. Let us knowif you are interested in helping stand up ReadyNewOrleans in the area of:
    1. Logistics
    2. Public Information
    3. Operations
    4. Prayer
    5. Care
    6. Share
    7. Safety & Security
    8. Finance

As always one of the best things you can do is prepare yourself and your family to be ready in times of disaster. CEN helps make that easier by providing our FREE ReadyChristian Training which you can download and do as you have time. 

US forecasters expect Tropical Storm Isaac to hit Haiti and Cuba, the National Hurricane Center projected that Isaac would become a hurricane on Thursday and make landfall Saturday near the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in southern Cuba. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate issued a statement for families to take this seriously and prepare families, homes and businesses according to AP News report. 

Isaac is potentially a very dangerous storm for Haiti, where 400,000 people still live outside underneath tarps in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Heavy rains from Isaac will begin on Friday morning in Haiti, and last through Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 8 - 12 inches are possible, which will be capable of causing extreme flooding on the vegetation-denuded slopes of Haiti. It will be a major challenge to keep those Haitians living outside safe, if rainfall amounts of 5 - 10 inches occur.

CEN calls on those in the path of the Tropical Storm Isaac to review their ReadyChristian emergency plans with family and friends to prepare for the potential landfall later this week. CEN calls upon churches who have completed their ReadyChurch training to insure they have notified CEN of their availability in the area to respond. Contact CEN with your ReadyChurch updates. And, for Christian networks in cities all across Florida, if you have not completed the ReadyCity assessment and notified CEN of your readiness to respond, we would ask that you contact CEN immediately.