Mission Presbytery Disaster Preparedness Information

(Prepare — Respond — Recover)


For our purposes, a “disaster” can be defined as a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community's or society's ability to cope using its own resources. A disaster may be the result of natural forces or human action.

The immediate challenge of a disaster is the physical survival of ourselves, our neighbors and our congregations. In its aftermath, disaster presents the challenge of recovery - physical, mental and spiritual - of our entire community. Recovery can take years, often only to achieve some sort of “new normal” for everyone affected.

Disaster is also an opportunity - a challenge for Christians to serve others with whatever resources we can muster. Therefore, we must be prepared to both survive and serve. Mission Presbytery spans a broad area of Texas that includes many potential vulnerabilities to disaster ranging from fires, violent storms, widespread flooding or industrial accidents to man-made disasters such as mass shootings or terror attacks. We will be working to provide more information on this site about how you as individuals and congregations may be better prepared for such eventualities.

Alan W. Ford
Acting Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
Fax 512-321-4132



We are all susceptible to tornados. Is your church prepared to move your people to a safe place if a tornado warning occurs during worship or another church activity?

Contact Joyce Batty, PW/PDA Disaster Preparedness Trainer to help prepare your church for all types of disasters. or 512 497-6099. Please read this short article published on CNN to see how one church in East Texas survived the recent tornado and see if your church could have responded as well.

Joyce Ann Batty
Mission Presbytery Disaster Assistance Preparation
Certified Trainer
2035 Sundance Pkwy #1401C
New Braunfels, TX 78130
512 497-6099 cell
830 627-4261 home

Other Diaster Preparedness Resources

  • The Texas Psychological Association,, is providing three free counseling sessions by Ph.D. Psychology providers to ayone who was affected by Hurricane Harvey. See "find Harvey provider finder tab" on their website.
  • The following materials may be helpful to your congregation:
Talking to Children about Mass Violence Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents
Tips for Talking to Children & Youth Active Shooter: What You Can Do
Children's Moment Tip Sheet: Working with Media

Guide for Developing Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship

Pre-Disaster Large Church Checklist
Pre-Disaster Medium Church Checklist
Pre-Disaster Small Church Checklist
Emergency Information Form
Hurricane Tropical Storm Checklist
Session Planning & Assessment - English
Session Planning & Assessment - Spanish
Emergency & Evacuation Procedures - English
Emergency & Evacuation Procedures - Spanish
Evacuation Routes/Maps for Texas

Weather Information

National Weather Service National Hurricane Center
Vuetoo® National Hurricane Situation Page
U.S. Weather Patterns
Weather Alerts by County (sign up)


Mission Presbytery Policy

Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan for Mission Presbytery (major revision pending)
Disaster Control Center Checklist
Post-Disaster Funds Request

presbyterian disaster response


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church USA. Through its headquarters in Louisville, KY, and small standing teams of volunteers (“National Response Team” and “National Volunteers”), PDA supports presbyteries and local congregations in disaster assistance activities, with special emphasis on long-term recovery mental, emotional and spiritual care for survivors and caregivers.

You can support PDA in three general ways. Please click on the underlined links below for more information:

GIVE - via One Great Hour of Sharing, or by direct donation. Note that direct donations may be designated for a specific disaster project account.

You may also make direct donations to Mission Presbytery in response to any disaster within the presbytery.

ACT - either by volunteering to work in a disaster area or, as a congregation in or near a disaster area, hosting volunteer work teams. Hosting can be done by an individual congregation or in partnership with other organizations.


Current PDA Volunteer Work Team Opportunities

Working as a member of a volunteer team in a disaster area is a win-win for those who serve and those who are served. Disaster survivors need more than just cleanup or construction work, they need the emotional support that the presence of a team can bring. And working in a disaster area always leaves a lasting impression on the volunteers as well.

You can find current PDA volunteer team opportunities by state (map) or alphabetically .

To learn more about this vital work, see these short videos:

PDA minute for missions - Volunteers are Needed

God Can Use You - Volunteer Work Team

Whether you field a work team through PDA or work as volunteers in your own or a nearby community, these videos should be useful:

Self-care for Volunteers

Ministry of Presence

Hosting Volunteers

Hosting volunteer work teams is a wonderful mission opportunity that can also bond and energize a congregation. You can learn more here. In particular, please watch the video linked from that page.


Should disaster strike your own community, you may find many opportunities to assist in response with your people or fcilities. You may wish to prepare in advance by local arrangements, interfaith affiliations, or by participating in efforts such as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).

Such participation by congregations is definitely encouraged, but please strive to abide by PDA's Statement of Values and Code of Conduct and Professional Standards in all you do.


Feel free to write or call:

Alan W. Ford
Acting Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
Fax 512-321-4132



Mission Presbytery • 7201 Broadway San Antonio TX 78209 • (210) 826 3296 or (800) 683 9999
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