Once your church has decided to set up some sort of disaster ministry, one of the first things that I encourage your team to do is take several Federal Emergency Management ACT (FEMA) courses. Like it or not, FEMA is the one in charge of most large crisis events, and the model they use has been adopted across the nation by firemen, police officers, and other officials that you would interact with during those events.
These courses are online, free to anyone, and they allow your team to get nationally certified by FEMA. Being FEMA certified will better prepare your team to interact and work alongside the officials that are managing the response. The more that you learn about the inner workings of the Incident Command Structure (ICS), the better equipped you will be to interact with the ICS leadership to minister and get helpful information to the people that you are working with in the midst of crisis. Getting these certifications exposes you to the vocabulary Incident Command uses, helping you communicate with officials in a way that they understand, potentially opening a door for you to minister to them as well.
The introductory trainings that lay the ground work for the way things are run by FEMA and other official groups in a disaster are IS-100.b Introduction to Incident Command System and IS-200.b ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents. I have included FEMA’s comprehensive list of the online classes that are offered here.
Tags:Church,disaster preparedness,disaster preparedness ministry,FEMA,training