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

    To those interested in volunteering to help recovery efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other regions affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, consider these ideas:

    • Hold a bake sale/yard sale/community fundraiser and send the funds raised to “US Hurricane Relief”
    • 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 in Houston and across the country. Contact  me for me information.
    • 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.

    Thank you to everyone who attended our Hurricane Relief Kit Rally on October 19! With fifty volunteers from fourteen congregations, we made 115 cleanout kits! Follow us on Facebook to see some of the pictures.

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  • Camp Noah Information

    Camp Noah will be held from August 13 to 17 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Reading to help children affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    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.

    To volunteer as staff at Camp Noah in Reading:

    • You must be able to commit to being present each day for the full session. The day begins at 8am and will conclude at 4:30pm.
    • You will be responsible for set up, clean up and debriefing each day.
    • All volunteers must attend training, both on-line and in person, before camp begins. Training dates are to be determined.
    • All volunteers must attend team building exercises before camp begins. Team building dates are to be determined.
    • All volunteers need reference checks and clearances.
    • Volunteers must be age 18 and older. We can accept can take up to 5 mature youth age 16-17 with an adult.
    • If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Luci Bower at lrbower@ptd.net.

    To volunteer to support Camp Noah in Reading:

    • Provide or serve food.
    • Provide fleece blankets – for full instructions from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, click here.
    • Provide transportation as a driver as needed.
    • If you are interesting in volunteering, contact Julia Menzo at jmenzo@libertylutheran.org.


    If you would like to make a monetary donation to Camp Noah in Reading:
    West Berks Mission District
    c/o St. Mark Lutheran Church
    1015 Windsor Street
    Reading PA 19604
    *And please note for Reading Lutheran Parish/Camp Noah

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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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