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Disaster News
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Adventist Community Service and Disaster Response (hereafter referred to as ASC DR) functions within a well-established response system, developed over decades of responding to all types and sizes of disaster events.  This system is known as the Incident Command System (ICS).  All responding agencies and organizations are to be trained in this system and work within its structure.  This includes ACS DR.
  
NO SUVS
(Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers)
 
For our ACS DR ministry, this means we do not self-deploy to any part of these disaster events.  We coordinate our responses by having all volunteers (individuals and groups) coordinate through their local conference ACS DR Coordinator.  As the needs of the ACS DR leadership in the affected area become known, our national Director and union ACS DR Coordinators share information with the local conference Coordinators.  In turn, if individuals and/or groups within a local conference are interested in responding when requested, specific information will be given to them regarding when to respond, to whom they should report, and what type assistance they are asked to provide.  Please be advised that these official invitations WILL NOT come through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.   
 
SAFETY
 Currently the storm is still in progress and flooding is still increasing in Texas, it will be some time before any ACS DR Volunteers outside of Texas will be invited into the area.
 
State and local officials are warning those in the disaster area, water is not safe to consume, the flood waters are polluted with sewage, chemicals, venomous snakes and in some cases alligators. Even after the flood waters recede, many areas will not be safe unless the responders are specifically trained and equipped in how to work in polluted areas.  ACS DR volunteers are generally not trained, nor equipped, to work in these areas.  Our volunteers do not generally become involved in this operation.
 
RESPONDING
There will be many calls through a variety of means to come help with this disaster.  For your own safety, and to assist with an organized Adventist response, please resist responding to any of these calls.
 
The primary Adventist function following these types of disasters is Donations Management.  This means we work with the local, state, and federal governments as well as the American Red Cross and other responding organizations to manage the influx of both unsolicited and some solicited donations for the benefit of those affected by the disaster.  Following such large disasters, ACS DR is often requested by the state government to manage large warehouses, where these donations are processed and prepared for distribution through approved (vetted) Emergency Distribution Centers.
  
HOW TO SUPPORT
 
Volunteering
These operations require many volunteers.  To support this need, ACS DR uses volunteers from a wide variety of sources.  Our preferred source is our own church member.  To have well-qualified volunteers, who can be most useful, we look for Seventh-day Adventists who have completed the offered ACS DR training.  We need trained volunteers who can serve as team leaders, as well as general volunteers.
Beyond this level of volunteers, we also need those who are willing and able to take advanced training, so they can serve as management staff in these operations.  Until individual or group volunteers are requested in Texas or Louisiana, our best way to help is:
First, pray for those affected by this tragedy and consider making a donation to Adventist Community Services.  Also pray for our ACS DR ministry, its national and state leaders, the volunteers from all organizations, and for the quick recovery of those affected by this storm.
 
FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Second, we can provide financial support, which is always greatly needed.  We ask that you allow the donation to be used as needed, so we can support varied affected areas of this storm. Also always check to see why types of items are needed.  Currently there is no need for used or new clothing.
 
Donations may be made the following ways: Adventist Community Services, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904
 
“Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40 NKJV




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