Callaway County is first to offer faith-based disaster training

Callaway County is serving as a model for a new statewide effort to provide emergency training to church members who volunteer to help victims of disasters.

Michelle Kidwell, Callaway County Emergency Management director, said an emergency management workshop will be offered Feb. 9 in Callaway County.

“Callaway County will be the first county in the state to receive this intensive training for its faith communities. Representatives from all faith communities are encouraged to attend.

The workshop will be at the Callaway County Health Department from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 9.

“To reserve a seat,” Kidwell said, “or for further information, contact brittany.perrin@sema.dps.mo.gov.”

The workshop is designed for church member volunteers and even potential volunteer use of church buildings as temporary shelters when natural disasters strike.

Kidwell said the workshop is part of the Faith-Based Organization Disaster Initiative (FABODI).

The initiative will encourage faith communities to prepare their members for a disaster.

The effort offers disaster relief training to faith communities with an emphasis on individual and family preparedness.

The goal of the workshop is to urge each church to prepare an operations plan and ask each church to assume a role in the overall disaster operations effort. One role might be to provide shelter, food or bulk distribution.

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