Wednesday evening strong storms swept across northeast Iowa, causing damage and at least one injury.  McGregor was the hardest hit as an EF-1 tornado touched down, bringing down trees and damaging or destroying several buildings.  There was also flooding in the area.

While congregations in the areas affected are being contacted and needs will be assessed in the coming days, this is again a reminder to congregations of the importance of being prepared for any kind of disaster.

Often churches are places where people look to for help and guidance in times of emergency.

 “It would be wonderful if every congregation would take a look at the Synod’s disaster plan and think about their role in being prepared to help their neighbors in times of crisis,” says Pastor Mark Anderson who works with our Synod Disaster Response Network.

Disaster Recovery Coalitions

When there is a disaster, it is helpful to form a long-term recovery collation, where congregations, government and non-governmental agencies work together to help local families recover from a disaster. In 2016 Lutheran Disaster Response of Iowa contributed $10,000 which was distributed by the Butler County Disaster Recovery Coalition to help families with unmet needs after the fall floods.  Contact Pastor Mark Anderson to learn how you can form a coalition in your community.

You can download this guide free from the ELCA

You can download this guide free from the ELCA

The Disaster Response Network page on the Northeastern Iowa Synod webpage has a wealth of resources to help your congregation be prepared in times of emergency.

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.