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Disaster Risk Reduction Toolkit launched on special UN day

October 13, 2014

Pastors and Disasters is in print!!

ABM is delighted to announce the completion and publication of a toolkit designed by and for churches to mitigate the worst effects of humanitarian disasters. And what better day to announce this news than October 13, *International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The toolkit, named Pastors and Disasters, has been three years in the making. That is because it has been developed by an international group of Anglican partners from six continents and the Pacific Islands, who are all working in Disaster Risk Reduction. Episcopal Relief and Development, the Relief and Development arm of The Episcopal Church in the US, has spear-headed this project. ABM and several of its overseas Anglican development partners have been active participants from the start.

As the introduction to the toolkit says:

The Anglican Communion and its member churches are present in 165 countries and claim membership of 85 million people on six continents. Wherever present, churches respond to disasters before, during and long after. They offer not only spiritual comfort and solidarity, but also sustainability and accountability in any response, including when its own communities and structures are affected.

Based on international standards of best practice, Pastors and Disasters was put together by Anglicans from the developing world who are all involved in implementing disaster prevention and response in their home churches and communities.

The toolkit covers topics such as organising local communities, assessing disaster risks, working as a community to reduce risk and vulnerability, and planning, as a community, how to respond to the kinds of disasters likely to be experienced.

Detailed information is provided on how to conduct community workshops, appointing a functioning disaster committee, developing early warning systems, preparing evacuation centres, and planning how to respond when disaster hits.

It will be exciting to see this toolkit rolled out in Anglican parishes and communities around the world over the next few months and years and to begin to hear stories of how its use is transforming communities, especially when a disaster hits.

And, although written by Anglicans with Anglican communities in mind, it is available to any communities who wish to use it to strengthen their own preparedness for and resilience against natural and human-caused disasters.

To quote one of the toolkit’s writers, Hilary Wirashinha from the Anglican Church of Sri Lanka, on the completed product:

“A sense of quiet satisfaction that we have been able to translate that dream into a reality. Now comes the REAL TEST – how will the Toolkit be received at ground level, how will it help churches and communities practically, and how to ensure feedback and lessons learnt…..But now’s the time for a little celebration.”


This valuable resource is now available online as a downloadable PDF from Episcopal Relief & Development’s website:


* The United Nation’s International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. To find out more, visit the website