Bob Thompson, member of St. Thomas, San Antonio, and co-chair of the Commission on Disaster Response, delivered the report on the commission.
Thompson said disasters can develop in an instant, noting the example of the Bastrop wildfires. Taking guidelines from Episcopal Relief and Development, the commission has developed things for churches to consider to better prepare it for a disaster.
Actions to take now include forming a disaster response team, preparing supplies, planning for a disaster, providing contact information to the whole congregation, and protecting the church’s valuable assets.
Thompson encouraged working on a disaster response plan before a disaster strikes, so that after, the church can help its congregation resume normal life as quickly as possible. “Think of what can happen in your community,” said Thompson, such as a hurricane if you are along the coast. “Consider those with special needs in your congregation.”
Disaster relief supplies are needed at every level, including the diocesan level, such as personal hygiene kits, new socks and underwear, blankets, and fresh water and food. To learn more about the commission, or for more information about building relief kits, visit the diocesan website.
The Rev. Chris Roque, rector of St. John’s, Sonora, and co-chair of the commission, said, “As the Diocese of West Texas, let’s take disaster response seriously.”