The US regularly experiences a wide range of natural disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes and floods threaten the South, Midwest and other regions each year. Blizzards and ice storms impact the country’s northern areas, and earthquakes and wildfires are ever-present in the West. In recent years, the US has seen an uptick in record-breaking disasters. For example, the US was impacted by approximately 31 separate disaster events, including five hurricanes, three inland floods, two wildfires, two droughts, 12 severe storms and four winter storms since 2017. Especially today, as the changing climate exacerbates the frequency and intensity of these events, support for impacted communities must be immediate, and recovery must be strategic and sustainable.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program connects, equips and inspires leaders in The Episcopal Church to prepare for and respond to disasters in their communities, particularly focusing on helping vulnerable groups of people to withstand the impact of a disaster and to return to a state of normalcy after an event.
During a disaster, Episcopal Relief & Development assists diocesan leaders with response by providing access to technical, educational and financial resources. Year-round, Episcopal Relief & Development offers preparedness trainings and resources to diocesan leaders in order to increase their resilience and to be well-positioned to respond.
Diocesan Disaster Coordinators are a key part of the US Disaster Program strategy. Appointed by bishops, they serve as liaisons for Episcopal Relief & Development staff, work with congregations to develop preparedness plans and assess the damage and needs following a disaster. Through the program, coordinators can also receive assistance from Partners in Response and Resilience, a group of experts who support church leaders as they discern their role in the disaster recovery process.
For more information on the US Disaster Program’s disaster preparedness and response work, click here.
We strive to facilitate healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Through our Asset-Based Community Development approach, we recognize existing gifts and resources in communities to create change from within. Our international partnerships allow us to work with people around the world to deliver life-improving results that can be sustained by the communities themselves.
We offer resources and training to help people prepare for disasters and provide emergency support so they can make a full and sustained recovery.Read more about US Disaster Program