Disaster Response

Today I Am Rebuilding

Lutheran Congregational Services is proud to be part of the Greater Philadelphia Long Term Recovery Committee. With our partners, our goal is to help victims of Hurricane Maria who have relocated to the Greater Philadelphia area.

To make a donation to support Hurricane Maria evacuees in the Greater Philadelphia region, please click here make a gift on our secure site.

If you need assistance, including links to important resources, or for more information on the committee, please visit the GPLTRC’s main site at SEPAVoad.com/long-term-recovery.

LCS and Lutheran Disaster Response are also working with agencies in Reading and the Lehigh Valley area to assist evacuees who are seeking assistance in those areas.

Lutheran Disaster Response - Eastern Pennsylvania (LDR–EPA), a ministry of Lutheran Congregational Services, is the agency designated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s (ELCA) Lutheran Disaster Response program to oversee disaster preparedness and response for Lutherans in 24 counties of eastern Pennsylvania.

LDR–EPA works with congregations, local and federal agencies, and community organizations to help prepare for and respond to natural or human-caused disasters such as large apartment fires, severe storms, or terror attacks.

Additionally, through funding provided by ELCA, LDR-EPA has designed and implemented Disaster Spiritual Partners, a unique intiative that teaches pastors about the stages of disaster recovery, ways to best serve their community, and how to care for themselves while working in challenging situations.

LDR-EPA's depth of experience in long-term recovery and wide network of disaster partners enables us to efficiently connect survivors with the appropriate resources, coordinate a corps of volunteers to assist with recovery, and provide congregations with the training and resources needed to best serve impacted communities.

To make a donation to LDR-EPA, please visit our secure site.

For more information on preparedness and how you can volunteer your time, please see below.

  • Making Hurricane Relief Kits

    While the exact needs of those who will be affected by Hurricane Florence are not yet know, here is basic information for those interested in volunteering to help recovery efforts:

    • Start the conversation in your congregation now
    • Assemble cleanout kits for use by flood victims 
    • Host a work team training for your congregation. In the months and years ahead volunteers will be needed to rebuild homes destroyed by flooding.
    • Take stock of your congregation’s resources to support your own community in times of emergency. Build relationships with community partners and local emergency management so you can support your community in disaster.


    Follow Lutheran Congregational Services on Facebook for updates.

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  • Camp Noah Was A Success!

    Camp Noah was held from August 13 to 17 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Reading with the mission of helping children affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    Thank you to The Reading Eagle and Al Dia News for coming to Camp Noah and sharing the stories of the children and volunteers.

    Organized nationally by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Camp Noah works with local organizations and community groups across the country that want to serve children in their area by helping them to develop resiliency and preparedness skills. For more information on the overall goals of Camp Noah, please click here. Campers will range in age from 6 to 13.

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  • Safeguarding Houses of Worship app Information

    The National Institute of Justice has created Safeguarding Houses of Worship, an app that will help local law enforcement work with houses of worship to evaluate facilities and create plans for preventing attacks and prepare for other catastrophic events.

    To access this FREE app, public safety officials should visit The National Institute of Justice web site and follow the instructions provided.

    Listen to Julia Menzo - Liberty Lutheran's Director of Community Outreach - speak with WHYY-FM's Dave Heller of NewsWorks Tonight about the new app here. Julia's interview begins at 11:30 in the full show.

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  • Preparedness Plans

    We recommend individuals and congregations develop their own preparedness plans.

    Click here to see Congregational Disaster Preparedness Guidebook.

    Check out our Congregation Preparation Form.

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  • Volunteer Opportunities with Lutheran Disaster Response

    Lutheran Disaster Response–Eastern PA (LDR-EPA) develops and maintains a database of potential volunteers, congregations, agencies and resources, which is made available for response to disasters in our region and possibly other parts of the country. 
    Click here for volunteer opportunities.

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  • Helping Across the Nation

    If you would like to learn about disaster relief opportunities across the nation.

    Click here for disaster response volunteer opportunities in Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia

    Click here for disaster response volunteer opportunities related to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

    Disclaimer

    Lutheran Congregational Services provides this information as a resource for those wishing to volunteer for disaster response.  It is our hope that this information results in meaningful service opportunities.  Please be aware these listings are not volunteer opportunities with Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern Pa.  Neither Lutheran Congregational Services nor Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern Pa assumes liability for your participation in any of these opportunities.

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  • Tips for a Power Outage

    During times of major weather events, be it extreme heat, powerful storms, or severe winter weather, there is always the likelihood of power outages caused by downed tree limbs or power lines.
    In the event of a power outage, make sure you:
    • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
    • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
    • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
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  • Flooding and Recovery Session at Bear Creek Camp

    Join LCS on Saturday, September 29 at Bear Creek Camp for "Flooding and Long Term Recovery: Construction, Coordination, and Case Management."

    This free event is open for work team leaders/coordinators from congregations and/or community groups, leaders and volunteers of VOAD organizations, municipal and county emergency managers, elected officials, or anyone interested in learning more about the process of community long term recovery, especially related to the recent flooding.

    Sponsored by:

    Creation Care Task Force of the Northeastern PA Synod of the ELCA
    Lutheran Congregational Services
    Disaster Ministries of Penn Northeast Conference and PA Southeast Conference,
    United Church of Christ
    Bear Creek Lutheran Camp
    PA Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

    For more information, contact Julia Menzo at JMenzo@libertylutheran.org.

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  • Give or Recieve Help with Local Flooding in Pennsylvania

    Do you know someone who experienced property damage in recent August flooding? Would you or your congregation be able to assist families affected?

    Get help: While areas along north and central portions of the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Rivers have been hit hardest, there are areas in Delaware, Philadelphia and Chester Counties that are also experiencing flooding. Anyone who would like to request help should call 272-200-3211 for assistance. The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including weekends through August 31.

    Give help: Lutheran Disaster Response - Eastern PA is working with other agencies to organize work crews to assist.

    For more information contact: Julia Menzo, Director of Community Outreach, Liberty Lutheran/Lutheran Congregational Services, jmenzo@libertylutheran.org

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