Making Connections

No man is an island: this phrase is never truer than when faced with an emergency. Within every municipality, there are plans in place and agencies which are responsible to respond. The faith community has a vital role to play in an emergency but they need to be connected if they are to be part of the response. The role that an individual faith group may play will vary with every group. Whether it is providing space to other agencies, offering direct response services or providing pastoral and spiritual care, they need to be part of the communication chain to know when and where to be.

The time to make these connections is NOW before an emergency strikes.

Resources for Faith Groups

A number of faith groups have prepared resources for use in the event of an emergency. While some have been prepared with a response to a pandemic (health-related) event, such as H1N1 Influenza, the principles may be of assistance for others developing an emergency response plan.

Anglican Church of Canada (Toronto Diocese)

Mennonite Church Canada

Mennonite Church Canada (Resource Centre)

Mennonite Disaster Service

Presbyterian Church in Canada

The Salvation Army in Canada 

The United Church of Canada

National Council of Churches

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NOVAD) – Emotional and Spiritual Care – Light Our Way

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NOVAD) – Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee

Pandemic Preparedness Guide for Faith Groups (Ontario)

 

Emergency Response Services

Several organizations have resources that may be of assistance in developing an emergency plan or in understanding response. The following list identifies some of those resources.

Canada

Bridges of Love

Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Psychological Association

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

Mennonite Disaster Service

Nazarene Disaster Response

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services

United States

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

Catholic Charities

Christian Disaster Response

Church of the Brethren

Church World Service

North American Mission Board

Government Resources

The responsibility for emergency response lies first with the municipal authorities, then with provincial and finally with federal. This structure is well defined and solid communication lines are in place to facilitate communication and escalate response needs as required.

Faith communities feel a call to respond to the spiritual and physical needs of persons during an emergency. To do this, connections need to be made with those persons responsible for Emergency Social Services, starting at the local or municipal level. Contact the local police, fire, emergency services and public health to find out what role your faith community may be able to play in a local emergency or disaster.

Provincial & Federal Links

British Columbia

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Manitoba

Ontario

New Brunswick (English)

New Brunswick (French)

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador

Yukon

Northwest Territories

Nunavut

Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Safety Canada

Public Health (Influenza)

Public Health Agency of Canada

British Columbia

Saskatchewan

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

Newfoundland and Labrador

Yukon

Northwest Territories

Nunavut

Personal Preparedness

Responding in an emergency means also that there are people in a position to respond to the needs of others. Equipping individuals includes having a personal emergency plan. Officials recommend that individuals be able to look after themselves for 72 hours – 3 days – without needing to rely on external sources. The following links provide information on preparing a plan and an emergency kit.

Be Prepared, Not Scared

Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness

Get Prepared.ca

Canadian Red Cross

British Columbia (Personal)

British Columbia (Family)

Alberta

Manitoba

Ontario

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador

Yukon

Nunavut

For some, being prepared may require more than having a personal plan and kit. Special populations have specific needs to be addressed. Included are links to sites which talk about how to assist these populations.

Emergency Preparedness for Special Needs Populations

Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs (Ontario)

Emergency Information for Seniors (Manitoba)

Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Special Needs (Manitoba)

Checklist to Facilitate Health Emergency Planning for At-Risk People (British Columbia)

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities

British Columbia

Emergency Management Ontario – Disabilities/Special Needs

The Canadian Council of Churches - Le Conseil Canadien Des Églises

47 Queen's Park Crescent East
Toronto, ON
M5S 2C3

www.councilofchurches.ca

T: 416.972.9494
TF: 1.866.822.7645

info@councilofchurches.ca

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