Mary Marr started the Christian Emergency Network after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to help Christians respond to emergencies. On Oct. 29, the Salvation Army Kroc Center and the Christian Emergency Network launched the nations first Christian Emergency Response Center in Couer dAlene. The Christian Emergency Network has partnered with The Salvation Army for 18 years.
The goal is to mobilize believers and coordinate with local emergency responders. Plans are in place to help the community in case of a major local disaster. When necessary, national resources from The Salvation Army and Christian Emergency Network will be made available to assist in responding.
ReadyCDA is a collaboration, much like in the days of Nehemiah, where Christian churches, ministries, schools and media work side by side with local law enforcement and emergency management to respond to local crises.
The power of the faith community is often an untapped resource, said Kevin Smith of the Department of Homeland Securitys Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives. What the Christian Emergency Network and The Salvation Army partnership is bringing through ReadyCDA in Coeur dAlene is critical to building community preparedness and resilience.
What sets the Christian Emergency Networks ReadyCDA apart from other Christian response organizations? It mobilizes a locally organized and managed incident-command resource management system that is there through the recovery effort. Human and material resources remain local, where emergencies are best managed.
ReadyCDAs resource and management structure is composed of nine team roles. Three training programs support these teams: ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch and ReadyCity each seek to build resilient families, churches and communities. Trained volunteers use two-way information-sharing networks and incident mitigation support teams to respond from an all-hazards view.
Volunteers are needed. Training will be provided through e-learning modules for the nine basic response roles: prayer, care, share, safety security, administration, logistics, operations, public information and finance there is a role for every Christian. If you, your church, or ministry are interested please contact: Nick Welbaum at [email protected] Be sure to visit Christianemergencynetwork.org.
Together, the Christian community in Coeur dAlene will be, as I Peter 3:15 instructed long ago: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the Hope that you have. But, do this with gentleness and respect.
Bob Shillingstad can be reached at [email protected]