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Help in a disaster: What to do, what not to do

Help in a disaster: What to do, what not to do

The Rev. Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, a minister in the United Church of Christ, lived through tornados that struck Henryville, Ind., in 2012. In the wake of tragedy in Oklahoma, she offers practical wisdom about what to do and what not to do in response to a disaster. DO NOT send “stuff,” DO NOT drive to the impacted area to help unless you are trained and credentialed by a recognized organization, and DO NOT say dumb things like “I know what you are going through,” because you don’t, she says. But, she writes, DO:

Remind others that God is present even in the midst of destruction. Speak of God’s love that overcomes all barriers, even death. Give people room to have their own relationships with God, even if they’re having a big family fight with God right now.

DO: Send messages of love and concern. Whether it’s e-mail, texts, Facebook posts, tweets, letters, cards, notes, banners or children’s drawings, your words can be a source of great encouragement. …

DO: Pray. It seems like such a small thing, but it matters. We could feel the prayers from around the world bearing us up and giving us strength.

And donate money. See her full post here.

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