Disaster Relief

Disaster Relief

We need your help!

As determined by the 2015 Synod Assembly, the Disaster Response Task Force will consisting of at least one person from each quadrant, a member of the synod staff, and a representative from LSSNY. The Disaster Response Task Force will maintain familiarity with the Disaster Plan and ensure the Disaster Response and Planning web page contains current information and links, and assist the bishop and synod to assess the nature and scope of a disaster and appropriate synod response. The convener of the Disaster Response Task Force will participate in the Lutheran Disaster Response network. Download the nomination form here.



  • Download the Disaster Plan approved by the 2015 Synod Assembly. 
  • Congregation Preparedness: Are you or your congregation prepared if a disaster strikes within your community? This free Congregational Disaster Preparedness Guide will walk you through, step-by-step, to create a comprehensive plan in case of a disaster and help equip your church to respond after a disaster strikes. Created by Lutheran Disaster Response, the intent of this resource is to help your congregation take basic and important steps to serve its community. Additional resources are provided by FEMA through their Guide for Houses of Worship.
  • The American Red Cross has made available a webinar to inform partners in the community about what they do and how your community can benefit from their services. Presentations include:
    • Preparedness: How to request a Red Cross Preparedness expert for your community presentation
    • Volunteering: How to respond to disaster in your own community
    • Youth Volunteering: How to set up or participate in a local Red Cross Club
    • Blood Services: How to host a Red Cross blood drive
    • Service to the Armed Forces: Red Cross support of military families
    • International Services: International family tracing services
    • Disaster Program Managers: Your local Red Cross representative in day-to-day disaster response
  • New York Disaster Interfaith Services Resources
  • Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)
    • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that builds resiliency in communities nationwide. It serves as the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle — preparation, response, recovery and mitigation — to help disaster survivors and their communities.
    • The New York State VOAD is the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response and recovery—to help disaster survivors and their communities. Members of the New York State VOAD form a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission.
    • "Strengthening the capabilities of organizations working together to relieve human suffering caused by disaster" is the mission statement of the NYC VOAD
    • The Long Island VOAD works to foster a coordinated approach to disaster recovery, identify what services are needed and develop efficient ways to deliver them
  • Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COADs) Congregations are encouraged to connect with COADs where they have been established. COADs help to establish community response in the event of a disaster. Your area VOAD can help to identify COADs in your area.

Volunteer opportunities

  • Register a mission trip with Lutheran Social Services.
  • New York City's Office of Emergency Management's (OEM) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members undergo an intensive 10-week training program that raises awareness about emergencies and disasters and provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, and traffic control. After graduating from the 10-week program, CERT members support their communities by assisting with emergency education and response. Emergency services personnel are the best equipped to respond to disasters. NYC CERT volunteers are trained to support the efforts of New York City's first responders. During non-emergency situations, NYC CERTs educate their communities about emergency preparedness by working with the Ready New York program and building community disaster networks. Find more information here.
  • Reach the 'corps' of preparedness in your community: The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. 
  • To volunteer in the five boroughs, contact New York Cares or World Cares Center.
  • In Long Island, volunteer through the Long Island Volunteer Center.


A special Thanksgiving over the Water liturgy


Disaster Relief blog
Photos of donations arriving from Pennsylvania (11/12)
Starting down the road to recovery (11/12)
Loving and caring in person (12/12)

Donate to Disaster Relief







Give Help


  • Long Term Recovery Groups gather a variety of agencies and organizations active in disaster recovery in order to maximize our efforts to assist victims. Congregations and conferences may want to send representatives to their local LTRG. A list of LTRGs and contact information is below.

Long Term Recovery Groups

You can also find Long Term Recovery Groups on Facebook:


Mission Groups


Finding lodging and work for Hurricane Sandy relief

For both mission trips and local congregation work groups. Generally volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.