Why Get Trained in Disaster Relief?
by Coy Webb, Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Director
Preparation is important in any area of ministry as it enables us to be more effective as we seek to be used by God to reach or minister to others. The wisdom writer in Ecclesiastes 10:10 declared, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength, but wisdom brings success.” Preparing the edge by sharpening the blade will enable the tool to be more effective, just as training helps believers to serve more effectively in response to the survivors of disasters.
Top Ten Reasons to be Trained in Disaster Relief:
- Training prepares us in our understanding of disasters and the needs that arise in times of disaster.
- Training enables us to respond in appropriate and effective ways in times of disaster.
- Training prepares us to understand our role as part of a disaster team. Emergency Managers often list untrained volunteers as one of their greatest problems in times of disaster.
- Training enables us to sharpen our abilities to be most effective as we serve, in order to be an asset not a hindrance in the response. Spontaneous volunteers typically lack familiarity with situation assessments and incident management. Because of this, they usually end up being in the way, rather than providing meaningful help.
- Training helps us to understand hazards and safety concerns in disaster areas. Untrained volunteers are much more likely to be injured in disaster response as they are unaware of risk factors.
- Training prepares us to understand in a deeper way some of the trauma of disaster victims that we might be able to offer appropriate compassion.
- Training prepares the hands to be ready to serve effectively. Becoming trained enables you to respond in times of disaster with needed skills.
- Training prepares the head by giving knowledge to increase effectiveness. Untrained volunteers are often unprepared to work long, stressful days in austere and rugged living conditions.
- Training and relating to a known disaster response group enables better security in disaster areas. Untrained volunteers create atmospheres where scam artists, who seek to prey on hurting and vulnerable people, can get access into disaster settings under the guise of being a volunteer.
- But the greatest reason to train is that God deserves our very best in all that we do and to achieve the best requires discipline, effort, and knowledge. Trainings are an opportunity to grow as Believers so that when God calls we are ready.
Disasters will come. Therefore, let me encourage you, be prepared to serve by being trained. Victims deserve that. Other disaster relief workers deserve that. But most of all, our God deserves that! A little training goes a long way in making us more effective and prepared to serve with excellence for the glory of our Lord.