While it may be too late to act on these disaster preparedness checklists this time, we offer this excellent advisory that the Rev. Linda Grenz, soon to be canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Rhode Island, sent to parishes in her state today.
Along with the usual info about how to protect your buildings, it includes specific information on pastoral care
· Make a list or, if you have one, review the list of people in your parish who live alone or who may be vulnerable for any reason (which isn’t just elderly people!). Find a way to make sure someone will check up on those folks to make sure they are OK or find help, if needed. You can do this in a variety of ways: recruit partners, let people self-select a partner, etc. You may also want to notify police and fire departments of vulnerable people, if that’s your community’s system. In any case, it is important to have a way to make sure that someone will check on people if that’s necessary.
· This is a good time to make sure your parish contact list is up to date. Collect cell phone numbers, confirm addresses, etc. Also, you might want to gather as information about who will be out of town so you don’t go hunting for someone who is in Florida!
· You may want to identify people who are ready, willing and able to assist should you need extra hearts and hands if the situation requires.
· In any case, encourage people to follow emergency preparedness suggestions offered by your local community – and by common sense!