Disaster Readiness / Response


Disaster Response is a ministry of the Oklahoma Distric that seeks to help congregations as they share the Gospel to meet the needs of members and others in their community following a natural or man-made disaster.

Every day in this world disasters occur.  On large scales and small scales, people are affected by tornadoes, hail, doughts, floods, fires, blizzards, and earthquakes--only to name a few.  In addition to disasters that occur within nature, there are disasters which are man-made.  Shootings and other forms of civil violence can be just as destructive as an event occuring within nature.  These may not always be situations in which we volunteer to assist; yet these are always events in which the Church responds with the Word of God.

The mission of the church is to reach out in mercy and compassion to those in need, motivated by Christ and His Godpel and accordin to the Lutheran confession of faith.

No one is untouched by the chaos of a disaster, but Christ's  mandate and example of love for the whole person remains our supreme example for life in this world, and for care of the needy--body and soul.

Individuals, congregations, District and Synod working together allows Disaster Response to meet more needs, and to meet them more effectively.  The duplication of efforts are lessened as we work together, and our ability t respond quickly and effectively will grown ever stronger.

Workshops - For more information about readying your congregation as a Gospel witness for a disaster, consider holding a Congregational Disaster Response Training Workshop please contact:

Rev. Ron Simpson - OK District Disaster Response Coordinator
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Midwest City
pastor@glsok.org or 405-732-2585

Donations - To financially support this self-funded ministry, Send your Donations (marked Disaster Response) to:
Oklahoma District Disaster Response - LCMS
Attn:  Brent England
PO Box 70
Owasso, OK 74055

 Any funds not needed for a specific relief effort will be used for other disaster response needs as determined by the Oklahoma District of The Lutheran Church-Missour Synod.  Gifts are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.



Click here for:  DEVOTION PSALM 46

Natural disasters continue to take place. The Bible speaks of them. Some were for punishment as in Numbers 16, when Korah and some 250 men, princes of renown among the congregation, rose up defying Moses leadership. The ground caved under them and they were buried in a great earthquake – they and all their goods.

Some are blessed by this event. We recall the night Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, being beaten and thrown into the inner most part of the prison and confined in the most uncomfortable restraints with their freshly acquired lacerations and bruises. That’s right, and they were singing! Suddenly about midnight, all the doors were opened and everyone’s restraints were loosened. (Acts 16:23-26)

Another earthquake is in Matthew. This took place on the first day of the week. Graves were opened and many bodies of the saints arose and went into Jerusalem and appeared to others. Jesus also arose earlier as the angel rolled back the very heavy stone from the door of the tomb. (Matthew 27:51-53; 28:1-2) Amazing! What a day of rejoicing that was.

Jesus said, “And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places and famines and pestilences and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:11) These things are sorely a part of life. They happen to all of us, the good and the evil. Failure to A lack of preparation and the fatal realization that comes too late will be the destruction of many people. We can look at these as a reminder that a great and terrible final destruction will come on the Last Day. Yes, as terrible as these things are in our lifetime, there is one terror to end all terrors for those who are not in the faith.

For the last one we are warned over and over in the Scriptures to be prepared. It is sort of like earthquake insurance. Very few have it because they don’t think they will need it. The vast percentage that do receive physical and property damage from a natural disaster may go out to get insured for the next one. We won’t have that opportunity when Jesus comes again. Now is the time to make sure you are covered. How does your policy read?

A review of Biblical earthquakes shows that virtually the entire story of the Bible can be summarized by its association with earthquakes. Biblical events emphasized by earthquakes are creation, Noah’s Flood, separation of Abraham and Lot from judgment of the wicked cities, the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, authentication of the leadership of Moses, God’s provision in the conquest of Canaan, vindication of the messages of Hebrew prophets, the crucifixion of our Lord in Jerusalem, the resurrection of our Lord, the ministry of the apostles and the church, the modern “birth pangs” sign of the end times, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

History, archaeology, and geology appear to confirm independently many earthquakes mentioned in the Bible. Earthquakes have been used distinctively by God to highlight some of the most important events of the Bible. The three main purposes for biblical earthquakes are judgment, deliverance, and communication. The lesson is obvious—God does not do anything really big without emphasizing it with an earthquake! In our fast-paced, man-centered, technology-based society of the twenty-first century, God would have us pause and consider His sovereign nature and His plan for life and salvation in His Son, even Jesus Christ.


Disaster Readiness for Home

Collect Important Information Ahead of Time

Tornadoes:  Some Safeguards

Tornadoes : The Signs

Tornadoes: Seek Shelter


Disaster Readiness for Congregations

Is your congregation ready to face an approaching communiy disaster?  Or Prepared to help with efforts o rescue, relief, recovery, and rebuilding in the wake of one?   If you are unsure ask these questions

  • WHERE IS A SUITBLE AREA FOR SHELTER FROM TORNADOS IN YOUR FACILITY?    It should be in an interior portion or a lower level of the building away from windows.  Consider posting and communicating this information ahead of time?
  • DOES YOUR FACILIT HAVE A WORKING NOAA (National Oceanic an Atomospheric Administration) WEATHER RADIO WITH EXTRA BATTERIE ON HAND?   Is it checked for function on a regular basis?  Is it in a location where alerts can always be heard?  If your community has storm sirens, can they be heard at the church?
  • ARE CHURCH RECORDS SECURE?  Fireproof, waterproof safes are advisable.  Computer records should be baced up and stored elsewhere.  Consider a safe deposit box for infrequently used records.  Is insurance coverage adequate?
  • IS THERE A PLAN FOR MEMBERS CHECKING ON ONE ANOTHER IN CASE OF A DISASTER? Especially consider vulnerable members such as the homebound, elderly or those in poor health.  Can members be mobilized for prayer, food or transportation in time of disaster?
  • WHERE WOULD WORSHIP SERVICES BE OFFERED IF THERE WERE SEVERE DAMAGE TO YOUR FACILITY? Is there a partnership in place with other churche or community agencies to seek and offer assistance in time of disaster?

Adopted from Mercy in Action: Preparing Congregations for Disaster Response, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Disaser Response, Copyright 2012.  For information on preparing for all kinds of disaster situations go to www.ready.gov.