|From a blog last year - "Planning for Disaster: Fire, Floods, Storms"|
|Thank you but what do you want me to do with these?|
This is a very difficult situation we face very often. Sadly the best work of people or churches ends up at the recycle place or the landfill. Why? Lack of planning would be my guess. So does your group or church have a plan? The storms have started, the heat is rising. Fire warnings are being heard in many areas. It is time to plan for your safety but also maybe what you can do for others!
Giving is an act of kindness; it makes us feel good and we hope those we give to feel good too. But the important thing is we meet the need. Who's need, I respectfully ask - ours or theirs? We mean well but have we thought well? A home is destroyed by flood or fire or storm; everything is gone, so we send old beds and tables and white goods. Great! Where will they put them? It can take a very long time, from the loss to the time of moving back in. If they even go back. Some might say use a church hall or showgrounds for storage. But then what? Plan B could be if you like to collect things, do that BUT have a "Garage Sale" and send the money to a Recovery Fund that has been already set up so that your work actually helps the people who have lost everything. For example, the shop owner or the local person who works in the shop can hopefully still keep their jobs. What a lot of fun your church group can have, raising these monies. The money reaches the community at all levels. Another suggestion is hold another similar event. Check with the local church in area; with the Rural Chaplain, with the people from the Shire office. Often the second wave is bigger than on the day.
As a person you can give blood to the Red Cross and other aid services, or your church may have a project like Rural Chaplains. In the Uniting Church we have set up the Moderator's Disaster Fund. This Fund is used many times for those hit by disaster. As I said, second and third waves are a common part of a disaster recovery, after the TV stations and those who "make a fuss" find their needs have not been met. Their plans have fallen apart due to outside decisions.
Sometimes the Recovery team may need certain necessary things in a first response. They will organise an appeal. Check for the exact items needed and how many; can they be second hand or do they need to be new. I pray this and your Disaster Management Plans help you during this storm time. But I pray for relief; for good rain and gentle winds. For a joyous and special Christmas lunch for RFS, SES and Red Cross Doc's, for DRCN, Salvos, Anglicare and all the other great groups and local community workers and you. As I finish this off I in a Motel in Coonamble and as the last time I was here it is raining outside this time the harvest here in full swing. Life is a challenge pray always for those who live on the land I taking leave to celebrate Lyn's Big 60 My Son birthday and Carolyn his lovely wife, time off drive then pick up the Van great week.