Roles and Responsibilities of the Disaster Response Coordinator

The Disaster Response Coordinator is:

· The point of contact for coordinating disaster response and disaster-related efforts at our church level.

· An advocate for disaster preparation and response issues.

· The chair of the Disaster Response Committee.

· The Incident Coordinator of the Disaster Response Center.

· Responsible for collaborating with the conference appointed area representative about local recovery actions.


Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes:

1. Work with church leadership to assist in the development and maintenance of a disaster response ministry and the disaster response plan.

2.   Develop and equip a  Disaster Response Center (DRC) operations location and a team to staff it.  The work area should be flexible to adjust to the number of people mobilized for the DRC staff, and have the necessary communications equipment, maps and charts.

3. Provide the District Disaster Response Coordinator with information on who to contact in the church as disaster response liaison and, if more than one person needs to be informed, the order they should be contacted.

4. Participate in and build relationships with agencies active in disaster response in the local area.  If unable to participate, the Disaster Response Coordinator should select a representative so that the church continues to be recognized as a valuable partner in the disaster response community.

5. Coordinate the possible use of church facilities as a training center, crisis counseling, ministry, temporary shelter, and supply or distribution center during disaster response.

6. Collaborate with the conference UMVIM Director to receive disaster training.  This may include identifying training opportunities, serving as the trainer or designating others active in the disaster response ministry to be a trainer, following up after training events, etc.

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

1. Implement the Disaster Preparation and Response Plan.

2. Activate the DRC Team and confirm communications capabilities.

3. Set up and secure the DRC and, if the disaster is likely to have a severe adverse impact on the location, identify, set up and staff an alternative location to work from.

4. Check for updates from OES, the media and other sources.

5. Check in with the conference office and  other disaster agencies.


Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

1. Assess damage to your household and check the status of your family.  If you are a victim, do not rely solely on your own judgment, listen to others.  If you cannot perform your duties, notify the church office and get help.

2. Assume the role of Incident Coordinator for the DRC and manage DRC operations.

3. Assist the pastors, staff and church office in meeting their needs


Stage 4: Relief

1. Continue as Incident Coordinator for the DRC and manage DRC operations.

2. Develop a system to rotate team members in and out of their positions so they are not working over 12 hours at a time.  Remember to take care of yourself so that you continue to be able to lead the others.


Stage 5: Long Term Recovery 

1. Close out the DRC and transition to long-term recovery operations.

2. Identify people to work in recovery. Appoint a local liaison to the conference Area Representative..

3. Collaborate and cooperate with agencies and organizations involved in long-term recovery to provide assistance and training as appropriate.

4. Function as disaster recovery liaison between the church and the Conference and UMCOR.