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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms and more details are posted as they become available.
Storm Fury of the Plains Virtual Events
March 2, 4, 10, 23, 25 & 29
Meteorologists from the National Weather Service office in Wichita will be presenting information that will help prepare storm spotters and weather enthusiasts for the upcoming storm season. The audience will learn about different types of storms, individual storm features that help a person to recognize the storm’s potential severity, how to report hazardous weather, and severe weather safety. If you are interested in attending any of these classes, don’t hesitate! (Spots might be limited.)
To register: https://www.weather.gov/ict/spottertalks
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.
Several groups have recently participated in flood bucket projects in the Kansas District, which has enabled us to respond quickly in disaster situations and prepare to meet future needs. (A good supply of buckets remains on hand in the District Office; thank you to everyone who has contributed!) If you’d like more information on assembling flood buckets, click the link below for instructions and a supply list.
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.
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 Kansas District maintains a relationship with various comfort dog agencies to help in responding to disasters and critical incidents. Comfort dogs are useful in breaking down barriers and building bridges to those suffering from the trauma of living in a world corrupted by sin and the resulting critical incidents and disasters. Trained Comfort Dog teams are available to be deployed due to disaster or critical incident at the discretion of the District Disaster Response Coordinator (DDRC). The DDRC will determine the closest or best suited comfort dogs to be deployed to the location of need. The Kansas District has funds to cover the cost of Disaster Response deployments for that are directed and approved by the DDRC.
Don’t wait for a disaster! Comfort Dog teams love to visit schools, preschools, churches and other groups. These visits are good training for the comfort dogs and their handlers. While the expenses for such visits are not covered by the District, we encourage you to invite them for a visit. They are always willing to work with you regarding related expenses. Two of these agencies are listed below:
Kansas Lutheran Comfort K9 Ministry
Cell Phone 785-633-3678
Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) K-9 Comfort Dogs (coming soon)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Webpage
Since these organizations are completely self-supporting, we ask that you consider how you might continue to support this vital ministry. Please contact them directly if you have questions or would like to contribute.