Organizing a Disaster Response Training Event in Your Congregation

For almost a decade LCMS Disaster Response has been training Lutheran Early Response Teams (LERT). In fact,   there are over 14,000 trained LERT members across the LCMS. I am often asked how we can get a LERT training event at my church and what should I expect during the training.

During LERT training, we will address the nature of disasters and explore what our response should be to disasters as members of the LCMS. We will explore how Christ has shown mercy to us, and how we can show our community that same Christ-like mercy. The goal is to prepare congregations and individual members to be better prepared when a disaster strikes and to help them know how to respond within their congregations, and in word and deed, within the greater communities.

Participants listen during the 2015 National Disaster Response Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford

Participants listen during the 2015 National Disaster Response Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford

Frequently Asked Questions about disaster response training

How can our congregation receive training?

To schedule a training session in your area, contact LCMS Disaster Response at:

How much does training cost?

A registration fee of $35 per person helps cover the cost of lunch and snacks; $10 will be sent to LCMS Disaster Response to help cover the cost of materials and travel.

Should we advertise to other LCMS congregations?

No event comes together by itself. It takes time, work and energy to tell people about an event. You should advertise this event in your local congregation. It is vital that you contact your circuit visitor and pastors within your circuit, as well as their lay leaders, to ask if they could also could advertise this training within their congregations. Your district office also should be contacted (as well as your District Disaster Response Coordinator) to ask if it would also be willing to announce the training on its website and through other communication channels.

How long will training last?

The training sessions are generally scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, but we can divide the sessions between a Friday evening and Saturday morning if preferred.

What will we study?

There are three main sections: 1) An introduction to the LCMS Disaster Response program, 2) Congregation preparedness and 3) Lutheran Early Response Teams.

Where do the trainers stay?

Trainers from LCMS Disaster Response arrange for their own transportation, lodging and meals.

A new class of LERT volunteers from Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH/Michael Meyer

A new class of LERT volunteers from Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH/Michael Meyer

Who can be trained?

Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend the training session. Only LCMS members who are 18 years or older, however, receive certification as LCMS volunteers.

How much advanced time does it take to schedule?

Training usually can be scheduled within three months of the request. But make sure you leave time to adequately advertise among your congregation, circuit and district.

If you are interested in hosting a LERT training in your congregation, send us an email at Disaster@lcms.org for a free packet of resources.

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Note: LCMS leader blog articles express the personal experiences and views of our ministry staff and have not been subjected to the LCMS doctrinal review process. Readers are encouraged to leave questions in the comment section or consult their pastor with any queries related to this content.

2 Responses to Organizing a Disaster Response Training Event in Your Congregation

  1. Robert Cloeter May 17, 2016 at 7:45 am #

    So we can invite the Christian community to this training event and they will pay $35. Will they then be certified to do disaster work even though they are not LCMS members?

    Robert Cloeter

    • LCMS Church Information Center May 17, 2016 at 8:10 am #

      Thank you for your comments. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend the training session. Only LCMS members who are 18 years or older, however, receive certification as LCMS volunteers.

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