MWBC Disaster Relief Units
Temporary Child Care
The service this unit provides is very unique. While victims are operating in a state of shock during a disaster, it is important that children feel safe and secure. Parents need a safe place for their children to be cared for where they will not be contaminated or inadvertently injured. We provide that environment for them while their parents are cleaning up, doing repairs, shopping, completing necessary government paperwork, etc.
The Disaster Relief Temporary Child Care (DRTCC) unit is equipped for up to eight classrooms for children from birth through seven years of age. Four wheeled modules have age-appropriate toys and can be set up in any secure area such as a church’s classroom space, a community center, or a school gymnasium. Workers have had background checks.
Disasters are critical events, and critical events cause crisis for those who are affected. Chaplains in disasters provide caring ministry during and after the disaster. They can help with disaster relief by meeting immediate needs and offering prayer. Chaplains in disasters provide caring ministry through their presence and prayerful intercession even when fear may grip their own hearts. Chaplains anticipate perceived needs, even before the victims do. Chaplains have one tool which is irreplaceable, and that is a listening heart.
The work begins with compassion. Compassion compels us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry with those in pain.
God is always present in suffering. The strength of a care-giving relationship is in the fact that victims are not alone. God is present. During a crisis, those affected need to tell their stories. They need to have validation of their feelings and sense of loss. Practicing the presence of God includes feeding the hungry, giving a drink to the thirsty, showing hospitality to strangers, and clothing the naked. Compassion means being present to help meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
When homes are destroyed or damaged in a disaster situation, a hot meal can mean a lot and be the stepping stone to recovery. Our kitchen can move in and prepare up to 7,000 meals per day, to be served by the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, or our own feeding lines.
Included in our training is Safe Food Handling Procedures, meeting the health department codes. All volunteers are required to be trained in these procedures as well as have hands-on training on the specialized commercial equipment. This equipment includes convection ovens, a forty gallon tilt skillet, and other cooking stoves.
Additional field kitchen units can be called from other states with capacity to serve 5,000, 10,000 or up to 50,000 meals daily in the event of a major, extended emergency response like that faced during Hurricane Katrina.
Our goal is to not just serve thousands of meals, but to serve hot, nutritious, tasty meals to victims and workers alike in the name of Jesus.
The purpose of this unit is to share the love of Jesus and the Word of God with those in need and each other while using our chainsaws and equipment safely to remove fallen trees on homes after a disaster. Criteria for giving assistance is homeowners that need our help can have it if the need is an obstruction to daily life.
When first arriving, jobs are assessed and given a priority. High priority jobs include those that are an
obstruction to daily life such as tree in house, on the roof, blocked driveway, and for those people with special needs.
Chainsaw Unit volunteers wanting to do more than just cut up trees for disaster victims came up with the idea of a Bible in a Bag. They want to share with each victim the hope that we have in Jesus even during a disaster. One way is when they knock on doors to offer their free services of cutting up the fallen trees, they can hand the homeowner a bag with a Bible, tracts "Hope in Crisis" and/or "Why We Are Here," and a witnessing letter of greeting from MN-WI Baptists. If the homeowner is not at home, this bright yellow bag with our Disaster Relief logo is designed so it can be left hanging on the doorknob.
It has become the practice of this team to ask the homeowners if they can pray with them at the completion of the job. Each team member signs the Bible and leaves it with them. Our motivation is to show the love of Christ, but to also tell them, as Scripture says we are to do.
The Scripture that is on the back of one of the trailers to proclaim the mission of this unit is:
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6
This unit primarily responds after a flood or rising water to drain the water, and clean out and remove debris from the interior of the house and/or basement. After the water has been drained, the volunteers cut out the damaged sheetrock above the water line and haul it and the insulation all out to the street for the homeowner. The area is then sanitized making it safe to live in. A health hazard may be present if the interior walls have had water and mud between them. Many types of mold can grow from floodwaters and mud can cause serious lung problems, so the clean up must be a very organized process.
The unit is a recovery combination of mud-out and chainsaw equipped and able to respond to both disaster needs.
The mission verse on the trailer is:
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord,
with ourselves as your servants for Jesus~ sake. II Cor. 4:5
The needs of volunteers remain the same—a place to sleep, food to eat, and a means to clean up. By their nature, chainsaw and mud-out are very difficult and dirty types of work so there is an urgent need for portable showers and laundry facilities - for volunteers as well as sometimes families affected by disaster. Six shower stalls and two washer/dryer sets on this unit provide a way to allow volunteers to start the day out clean and ready for work.
Serve one another in love. Gal. 5:13
Prayer Support Unit
This unit is designed for those who want to be involved in Disaster Relief, but are not able to actually travel to the disaster site.
When faced with the aftermath of the devastation people do not care about credentials, diplomas, etc. They look for kindness and understanding. They need a shoulder on which to cry, a word of encouragement, a listening ear, and a heart of compassion. A compassion born out of our love for Jesus Christ. It is love, compassion, and understanding the victim longs to hear, more importantly, see.
Our main purpose is to bring disaster needs, names of volunteers, specific requests to the Father to undergird the work of those on the scene with prayer. Prayer for protection. Prayer for God to reveal Himself and His love and care through our DR volunteers. Prayer for resources to find their way to the needs. Prayer for life, health, healing, encouragement, hope, etc.
Bringing people and needs before the Father.