September 2020 National Preparedness Month Toolkit

Coronavirus Resources from the UCC

Download: Considerations for Deploying Disaster Recovery
Work Site Volunteers Safely During COVID-19

A Disaster Preparedness Manual for Churches 

Is your church prepared to withstand a natural disaster and to help your congregation and community in the aftermath?  Do you want to be prepared but don’t know where to start?

Being ready just got easier, thanks to the new A Disaster Preparedness Manual for Churches from United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries and the Insurance Board, a property and liability insurance program for the UCC and other churches.

Tailored for use by houses of worship of any denomination or faith, the concise, easy-to-use 24-page manual is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your building and congregation for a disaster and to serve your wider community when one occurs. The manual assembles exactly what congregations need to know, and do, in one PDF document.

Read more about this new resource.

Click here to download the manual.

* Also Online – Disaster Preparedness Resources for Families 

Just as congregations need to be prepared in case of disaster, so do households. Use all or some of the following resources as best meet your needs. Files may be printed in house or at an office supply store, punched and placed in a 3-ring binder.

Doc. 1: Preparing for a Disaster: A Guide for UCC Families and Friends

Doc. 2: An Introduction to Disaster Preparedness

Doc. 3: American Red Cross Family Disaster Plan

Doc. 4: Disaster Preparation Shopping List

Doc. 5: Disaster Supplies Checklist

Doc. 6: Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency

Doc. 7: Church as Shelter Guide

A special word about donations to disaster survivors …

Never send donations of goods to disaster survivors unless specifically requested by a reputable organization that has warehousing, distribution and transportation in place.

(Best option: Send money. Contributions are welcome to the UCC’s Emergency USA fund.)

And here’s a video about the problems well-intended but unwanted donations cause – in short, siphoning off valuable space and volunteer time from the real needs of disaster survivors: 



Our brochure (pictured, left) provides a succinct introduction to who we are, what we do internationally and domestically, how to get involved and where to learn more.

More Resources



Keeping Safe During Fire Cleanup

This flyer gives information on the challenge, potential chemical exposures from the fire scene, how these chemicals affect health and worker protection and practices. This version is in English.

A Spanish version is available here. 


Keeping Safe During Flood Cleanup

This flyer describes what mold is, how it affects health; how you can tell if it is present and includes worker protection and safe practices while cleaning up after floods. 

A Spanish version is available here. 


Light Our Way: A Guide for Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster

For Disaster Response Volunteers, First Responders and Disaster Planners, from National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).

The Silent Disaster:  21st Century Response to Technology-Caused Disasters

Click here for the pdf version. You can also order a hard copy from the UCC store at or by calling 1-800-537-3394.

silent-disaster.jpgThis book acts as part of your toolbox for preparing and responding to a disaster in your community, no matter your role in the community.  Is is especially devoted to working in partnership with others when a technology-caused disaster is present or anticipated.  This book will help you recognize a technological hazard, make plans to form a community response if you are currently experiencing a technology-caused disaster, or plan for your response for any disaster in the future.

Topcis include:  The FaithCommunity Commitment; Defining and Identifying Technology-Caused Disaster; Impacts on the Community; Community Preparedness for the Technology-Caused Disaster; Building a Community-Based response to a Technology-Caused Disaster; The Recovery taskforce Responds to the Disaster; Vulnerability to Disaster:  The Taskforce Identifies the Persons Most in Need; The Recovery Taskforce Considers Spiritual and Emotional Care; The Recovery Taskforce Faces a Dilemma.


Help and Hope: Disaster Preparedness and Response Tools for Congregations


When disaster strikes, people inevitably turn to local faith communities for help and spiritual care. This book prepares congregations to respond effectively and with confidence, whether it’s following a devastating tornado like Joplin, Mo.; a school shooting like Newtown, Conn.; a superstorm like Katrina or Sandy, or an individual house fire.

Help and Hope: Disaster Preparedness and Response Tools for Congregations is a practical, thorough, inspiring how-to guide for pastors and volunteers that draws on lessons from real-life experience to help faith communities expect the unexpected and respond in ways that help and not hinder survivors’ relief and recovery.  It is published by Chalice Press in collaboration with Church World Service.

Click here to order.


prepare-to-care.jpgThe topics include: Overview Emergency Management in Disaster Response; The Faith Community and Disaster Ministry; Mitigation: Working to Reduce Your Community’s Vulnerability; Preparedness: Planning to Serve; Response: Your Call to Service; Recovery: Moving from Agency-Based Assistance To Community-Based Cooperation; Action Check List When Disaster Strikes and Responding to disasters Outside Your Community.

This manual focuses on how to:

Prepare yourself, your family, and your church for a disaster inside and outside your community

Prepare your church to work cooperatively with other churches, faith groups, and community-based groups where you live to respond to those affected by disaster



Meeting God in the Ruins – Devotions for Disaster Relief Volunteers

meeting-god.jpgContents include:

Before I Go

The Ruins

After I’m Home

Free copies may be ordered from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by calling (800) 328-4648 (ISBN 6-0001-6788-1). 

O God Tender and Just – Reflections and Responses after September 11, 2001

oh-god-1.jpgThis is a book that is both for and about the church. It is for the church as a special volume commemorating the one-year anniversary of the awful acts of violence that took place on September 11, 2001, when terrorists deliberately crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A third plane, apparently failing in an unknown mission of destruction, crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

This is also a book about the church and the faithful way it responds to crisis.  In the days, weeks, and months after September 11, literally thousands of people logged on to the United Church of Christ’s Web site

Although the voices and forms differed, these hundreds of postings consistently shared common themes deeply grounded in the faithful, biblical perspective of their writers: Care for those who hurt.  Hope for the future. Seek justice, not vengeance. Be informed and be active. Exercise restraint.  And trust in God. – from the Introduction. 

To order this item, please call the Warehouse at  800 537-3394.