Disaster Relief – Getting Involved

Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief offers training events throughout the state for those interested in responding to disasters. To receive a credential for disaster response from Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief the following steps are required:

• Attend a Miss. Baptist Disaster Relief Training event
• Complete “Involving Southern Baptists in Disaster Relief” {offered at all trainings.}
• Complete one area of Disaster Relief training
• Complete and return information documents at training events
• Have a picture taken to be used on ID badge
• Complete Background screening. The background check is confidential and checks participant’s history of arrests with specific concern for crimes of a violence, sex offenders, etc. — Cost of the background check is $10.00

Types of training available
Feeding – Southern Baptist Disaster Relief started as a feeding ministry. SBDR is known nation-wide as a major partner in Mass Care feeding. Participants in training are taught practical skills in safety, food safety, preparation, serving, hygiene, clean-up.

Chainsaw –Frequently disasters in Mississippi damage trees. While many Mississippians know how to operate a chainsaw, trees affected by disasters pose unique challenges to volunteers. Skills of safety, assessment, cutting, ropes, felling, and clean-up are taught to deal with the uniqueness of disasters. In a one- day training, morning sessions focus on safety and technique; while the afternoon is actual practice cutting trees.

Mud-out/Tarping/Shower Trailer – taught as one unit
Mud-out – after a flood event, homes and businesses must be cleaned up properly. Participants will learn safety and skills to properly help those affected.
Tarping – homeowners whose roofs are damaged in a disaster may benefit from the proper application of a covering tarp. Proper installation assures that the tarp will stay in place until the homeowner is able to have permanent repairs made.
Shower Trailer – Miss. Baptist Disaster Relief has access to shower trailers for use in disaster times. These trailers are a great benefit to volunteers and the community. Proper installation and clean-up are required for their use.

Chaplaincy – DR Volunteers provide timely help for emotional and spiritual needs in a crisis. Training helps attendees learn how to be most helpful in the crisis. Listening skills, understanding the disaster from the victim’s perspective, practical tools for helping are all part of the training.

Childcare – Children are among the most vulnerable in a disaster. MBDR ministers to children and families in disaster settings. MBDR also helps churches in affected areas develop plans for follow-up in the weeks and months after the event.

Medical – (mostly for overseas events). Mississippi Baptists have been doing medical missions for years. Responding to disaster events world-wide is a growing need. Participants learn some of the basic plans for setting up clinics, supporting doctors and hospitals in affected areas, preparation for overseas travel.

Developing a Disaster Relief team in your church – Many churches have a number of people who are interested in responding to disasters. How can you effectively prepare and organize a team for disaster response in your community?

Basic Assessment – Each disaster is unique. The skill of determining what needs to happen in a certain response is crucial. Training helps attendees be better able to know how to get information about church members, Emergency Management needs, and the response in affected areas.

Please contact Don Gann at 601.292.3335 or email dgann@mbcb.org for information on preparing your church for disaster response or how to get individually involved.