Disaster Ministries

The goal of our Disaster Ministries Team is to educate churches about local disaster and traumatic event protocols. We will help our churches and pastors with preparedness tools; and, if necessary, assist as they move through response and recovery toward a new normal.

Disasters and traumatic events manifest in many forms from those that affect individuals, families, and local communities to natural or a human-caused calamities potentially affecting large numbers of people.

Traumatic events may include an accidental death, a house fire, vehicular accident, diagnosis of a life-threatening condition, and loss of livelihood. For those most directly involved, such traumatic events may be as threatening to individual well-being as natural disasters such as a hurricane, tornado, ice-storm, blizzard, flood, or wildfire; or an act of destruction caused by a variety of technologically-created events or acts of human violence.

Many local churches and pastors have experience in responding to traumatic events as well as disasters. To reach the goal of educating churches, we seek (1) to share the wisdom and experience of local congregations in the Maine Conference; and (2) to draw upon and share best practices of churches nation-wide and world-wide.

Disaster Ministry Resources

Resources for Mass Violence Incidents

Service Resources for Churches:

Discussion and Recovery Resources:

From Maine VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster):

  • For connection to any resources: Contact 211 Maine by calling 211 or texting your zip code to 898-211.
  • For behavioral health crisis or thoughts of self-harm: Call Maine Crisis Line (988)
  • For mental health supports and resources: Call the NAMI Maine Helpline (1-800-464-5767)
  • For mental health peer-to-peer support: Call Intentional Warmline (1-866-771-9276)
  • For youth ages 13-23 in need of support: Text NAMI Maine’s Teen Text Support Line (207-515-8398)
  • To donate blood: Search for a American Red Cross of Northern New England blood drive near you

Excellent resiliency resources courtesy of Maine Disaster Behavioral Health/AdCare:

Community and Responder Resources for Mass Violence Incidents Provided by Megan Salois, LSW, MA Disaster Behavioral Health, Maine CDC

(T)his special edition of the Maine Disaster Behavioral Health Newsletter focuses only on community and responder resources. Please share these resources as you like. This response and recovery process will have a lasting impact but Maine is a resilient State. We will work together to support one another and the communities most impacted by this traumatic event. Take care of yourselves and take care of one another.

  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline ~ Call or text 988 or chat  988lifeline.org, a national suicide and behavioral health crisis hotline. Calls to 988 will be answered by trained crisis specialists at the Maine Crisis Line. Free, confidential, 24/7 support for anyone needing support.
  • Disaster Distress Helpline Call or text 1-800-985-5990. The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is the first national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 to all residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This is a confidential and professional resource for healthcare professionals who may need some help or guidance.  The resource is available seven (7) days a week from 08:00 (8 AM) to 20:00 (8 PM). If you reach out to this resource, you will be connected with a Maine-based mental health professional with experience working with healthcare professionals like yourself.
Considering Overnight Guests?

Could your faith community assist families during Maine’s housing crisis? It’s a question many are asking.

Your Disaster Resource and Response Team wants you to know that if you’re considering sleeping people at your church, you should obtain the proper permit from the state fire marshal’s office.  In order to have people sleep at church, the church should have a sprinkler system, fire alarm, smoke detection, and carbon monoxide detection.

If you think you may want to have overnight guests, a conversation with your local fire department is a good start. In fact, we urge you to establish a relationship with your local emergency manager and often that person is the local fire chief or police chief.