Disaster Risk Reduction
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Benjamin Franklin once noted. This adage is especially true when it comes to disasters. Planning ahead and taking steps to lessen the impact of potential disasters can go a long way in minimizing the suffering and damage that often follow—particularly in places where people already face poverty and may lose the few resources or safety nets they have.
To this end, Episcopal Relief & Development has partenered with the Episcopal/Anglican Church to better prepare for and respond to disasters, whether natural or human-made. At the core of this goal is the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management initiative with the Anglican Diocese of Colombo and the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) in Sri Lanka.
A working group of regional and international partners evaluated existing disaster preparedness and response practices, identified possible improvements, and produced a toolbook of core competencies and standards, best practices and case studies.
The Pastors and Disasters Toolkit is available in Spanish, French and Portuguese in both US and international versions, downloadable as PDFs by clicking on the links.
To address the need for increased capacity, the program includes a “training of trainers” component, with learning and practical field work. Participants will go on to facilitate disaster response training for others, which will expand local churches’ ability to act more effectively in future emergencies.
Our program is designed to provide an approach that is consistent, yet adaptable to varying local contexts and disaster situations. Once the regional pilot has concluded, we plan to expand the initiative to other global partners.
Your partnership will help the worldwide Church improve its ability to respond to emergencies and reduce their impact by:
- Enabling our partners to develop and refine the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management program, training and toolbook
- Supporting the working group in organizing international workshops to share experiences, best practices and resources
- Empowering local church partners and communities to prepare for potential threats with measures such as installing early alert systems and elevating homes in flood-prone areas
- Promoting tree planting, sustainable agricultural practices and other activities in areas where deforestation and soil erosion can contribute to landslides and flooding