Disaster Response

"Let us never weary of doing good." (Gal. 6:9-10)

Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) Events

Interested in helping out when disaster strikes? If so, think about attending a Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training session or deployment opportunity. For questions about any of these events, contact Kansas District Disaster Response Coordinator Donna Williams at ksddrc@gmail.com. Registration forms and more details are posted as they become available.

COVID-19 NOTE: In the interests of limiting the spread of the coronavirus, all LERT training events are ON HOLD for now. We’ll provide updates as we receive new information.

Snapshot: Basehor/Linwood/Bonner Springs Tornado Response

Kansas District LERT teams deployed in 2019 when tornadoes hit the Basehor/Linwood area. Their work included a week with Lutheran Church Charities June 17-21 and additional chainsaw work in the fall of 2019. Check out the resources below to find out more about what happens when LERT teams spring into action.

For recent updates on LERT activities, check the LERT Kansas District Facebook page.

Flood Relief


Several groups have participated in flood bucket projects in the Kansas District this year, which has enabled us to respond quickly when a need arises. If your group would like to participate, here’s how it works: Each congregation, district, or group fills empty 5-gallon buckets with items from a suggested list provided by LCMS Disaster Response (see link below; the list also includes instructions for completing the buckets). The items are purchased locally and/or donated by the members of the congregation or group. Contact Kansas District DDRC Donna Williams (ksddrc@gmail.com) or Aaron Nielsen (disaster@lcms.org) in the LCMS Disaster Response office for decals to affix to the completed buckets. (NOTE: Thrivent Action Dollars are an excellent way to help fund your effort.)

Once your buckets are assembled, contact DDRC Donna Williams. Try to store flood buckets at your location until transportation can be arranged. Alternatively, you may take buckets to the District Office in Topeka.


Volunteer Information Exchange

LCMS Disaster Response is building a database of all volunteer members of Lutheran Early Response (LERT). Application information is exchanged between the LCMS and representatives from the LCMS districts in which your volunteer service takes place, as well as your home district. This exchange ensures that the LCMS districts in which you would serve and your home district have the information they need to effectively manage the volunteer project and ensure proper safety measures. All LERT team leaders are asked to relay this information to team members. To opt out of the exchange, members are asked to send team leaders a note to that effect. Otherwise it will be assumed that all certified LERT team members will be added to the exchange.

Team leaders are asked to share the link to the LERT Training Attendance Form with team members so that they can complete their form online. USE TRAINING CODE 9999.

LERT Training Attendance Form

Kansas District Disaster Fund

The Kansas District Disaster Fund is used to respond to natural and manmade disasters as directed by the Board of Caring Ministry. District disaster funds are used to provide the following services:

  • Congregational preparedness and Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training
  • Building relationships with other disaster partners
  • Emergency, relief and development grants
  • Pastoral care for LCMS church workers and members who have been involved in a disaster
  • Resources (volunteer coordination, donation and equipment management)

We thank you for your support of the Kansas District Fund! If you’d like to make a contribution to assist with our various disaster ministries, you can donate online or send a check payable to LCMS Kansas District with Kansas Disaster Fund in the memo line to:

LCMS Kansas District
1000 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66604

LCEF can help, too!

Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has a Disaster Assistance Program available for eligible LCMS ministries and rostered church workers in natural disaster areas. The program provides assistance in the form of loans (new or adjustment of existing LCEF loans) and/or facility redesign, repair and construction.

To learn more, visit the LCEF Disaster Assistance Program page or call 800-843-5233.

Disaster Response and Ministry with Comfort Dogs

The goal of the Kansas District Ministry with Comfort Dogs is to bring the mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ to those in need. A comfort dog team can open the ears of those in distress to hear the Gospel.

Following a disaster within the LCMS Kansas District, comfort dogs and their handlers may be deployed at the request of the District Disaster Response Coordinator. LCMS Kansas District disaster response funds will assist with travel expenses incurred by the handler(s) when deployed in these situations.

Other requests for comfort dogs might arise in response to a critical incident within a congregation. A critical incident is any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms or significantly strains the normal coping mechanisms of the congregation or school. We only respond if invited and work with local churches to meet specific ministry needs for their congregation and community. The local congregation is responsible for travel expenses incurred by the handler(s) in response to all other critical incidents outside of disaster response. These visits may be initiated directly with Carolyn Buono at buonocw@cox.net.

For more details, see our Request for the Services of Comfort Dogs information sheet.

Kansas District Disaster Response Coordinator

Donna Williams
Zion Lutheran, Newton, KS

Give Online

Thank you for your help!