Origins of Disaster & Emergency Response Program
Kern Leadership Alliance formed with the mission to engage followers of Jesus to work together for community transformation. A strong area of interest for our founders was disaster preparedness, specifically examining churches’ ability to serve in the event of a large-scaled disaster. Surveys revealed that most churches in Kern County had no emergency plan, trained staff or emergency supplies. Even worse, they knew that in the event of a disaster people in the community were not equipped to survive for the 72 hours until aid arrived. Something had to be done.
Disaster & Emergency Response Program came from a Kern Leadership Alliance initiative to bring disaster preparedness to the community through empowerment and education of churches. As they looked at best practices from cities around the nation, they considered topics most applicable to churches and were able to put together what we now call the Disaster & Emergency Response Manual. In collaboration with public and private agencies, DER continues to prepare local churches for a disaster.