Disaster Preparedness for Families and Churches


Please see our article in Leadership Journal on ways churches and families can prepare for emergencies.

Please remember that if you or your church plan to help others (even as volunteers) after a disaster, you must get training and certification and be credentialed before you will be allowed in many disaster areas and facilities. Following Hurricane Katrina, for example, over 100 pastors in the Austin, Texas, area were sent away from relief shelters where they hoped to minister to hurricane evacuees, because the pastors had not gone through training and credentialing. By preparing ahead of time we will be better able to help others in time of need.

Please contact your local or state emergency planning agencies or your local fire department for information on where you can receive such training, which might include local churches or Christian organizations.

Although it is commonly recommended that people have a minimum of three days of food, water, money, and other necessities on-hand for an emergency, there are larger risks to our infrastructure that could affect power, water, and other services for long periods. (As one example, government officials are openly warning about the risk posed to infrastructure by cyber attacks.) Storms like Sandy and Katrina left many without power for weeks or longer. Please consider preparing for longer-term emergencies, including with friends, neighbors, or your church. If you are able, store supplies to give away to neighbors or others who may be in need.

The time to prepare is before something happens. If you recently went through or witnessed a major storm, take the opportunity to see what preparation needs that experience exposed for you or your family and prepare now, before the next emergency.

PLEASE CONSULT www.ready.gov or the Red Cross website below when making emergency plans for your home, church, or business. Those sites have important information about the storage of supplies and other disaster preparedness needs.


Emergency Supplies for Homes and More

Through our association with Nexis Preparedness Systems, the premier emergency preparedness supply and management company, we now have the ability to offer you special savings on emergency kits and supplies to help prepare you and your family for a disaster. Whether it be earthquakes, flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or any other kind of disaster, it is important for you to have the ability to “Grab-&-Go” with supplies for your survival.

Joseph's Way Preparedness Store: http://www.nexisprep.com/josephsway

Ready.gov and the Red Cross

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates www.Ready.gov to help US residents be informed, prepare and be involved in disaster response. Visit their site and see how you can prepare for a disaster. There resources include instructions for preparing homes and organizations for several kinds of emergencies, including:

Natural disasters

The Red Cross also has helpful information on preparing for emergencies. Their website can be seen here for information on preparing your home and family. The also offer suggestions to help senior citizens prepare for disaster

SBC Disaster Relief

SBC Disaster Relief is the third largest relief organization in the nation, behind the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Their work also includes planning and preparation information for families, churches and organizations. Their website includes helpful information for individuals, families, and churches:

Church Preparedness Manual: https://www.namb.net/resources/church-preparedness-manual
Family Preparednss Manual: https://www.namb.net/resources/family-preparedness-manual
How To Prepare, Connect & Respond: https://www.namb.net/send-relief/disaster-relief/disaster-ready-church

PCA Disaster Relief

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has a Disaster Response ministry, which provides resources to individuals and churches:


Samaritan's Purse

This Christian organization provides disaster relief here and overseas:


Preparedness Peace Training Course

The following website is for a faith-based (Christian), six-session disaster preparedness course for individuals and groups. The course, called Preparedness Peace, includes practical instruction and homework that takes several hours per week to complete. The organization sponsoring this curriculum, Somebody Cares, has also prepared a manual for use by churches:



Many mainline churches, evangelical churches and other organizations collaborate during disasters through both the Red Cross and VOAD, which stands for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.


CERT training

Many local, state, and federal organizations providing Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. Check with your local emergency management agency or fire department for more information.


Christian Emergency Network

CEN is a grassroots network equipping Christians to serve communities in crisis.


Earthquake Safety Guide

"Earthquakes are one of the most potentially destructive natural disasters, often wreaking significant havoc when they strike. High magnitude quake can leave catastrophic damage in its wake in both the epicenter and surrounding areas. Particularly in certain parts of the country that are more susceptible to earthquakes, advance preparation is critical."

Find more resources and helpful details in the Earthquake Safety Guide

Books and other resources

Dr. Paul Williams, M.D., has prepared a book and accompanying workbook that provide practical instructions to prepare for several kinds of emergencies. He does this while also offering a Christian perspective. It can be ordered through the link below, or in our Books section. Other helpful books are available in bookstores and online. See the Books section for recommended resources.

When All Plans Fail, by Dr. Paul Williams, M.D.
Paperback | Workbook | Kindle