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Domestic disaster response plan bolstered by ERD
New role to assist Episcopal dioceses

ENS 011106-1
[Episcopal News Service]  Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is creating a new domestic disaster program in response to the Episcopal Church's Executive Council resolution that calls for the development and implementation of an Office of Disaster Planning.

The program will be headed by a director for Domestic Disaster Response, a new role created by ERD to assist dioceses throughout the Episcopal Church in designing a disaster preparedness plan. The director would also oversee the implementation of ERD's long-term Hurricane Katrina recovery program through diocesan partners in the Gulf Coast region.

"This is the beginning of a new and important chapter for ERD," said Robert W. Radtke, ERD's president. "In answering Executive Council's call, we want to shape a ministry that will serve the diverse range of challenges disasters bring -- from the initial crisis to long-term rehabilitation. Each disaster is unique and the challenges each present are hard to anticipate in advance. We plan to build on our successful model of using an integrated community development partnership to shape a program that is flexible and adaptable to each disaster and each diocese."

Radtke outlined the new position during committee sessions of Executive Council, meeting January 9-12 in Des Moines. Council members applauded the initiative, originally launched in Council's Congregations in Ministry Committee, chaired by the Very Rev. Cynthia Black.

Through diocesan partners, ERD's domestic disaster response program provides immediate needs such as food, water, and shelter to people left most vulnerable after natural and human-made disasters. Once the emergency is over, ERD works with partners to develop a long-term recovery program to address the needs of marginalized populations disproportionately affected by the disaster.

In addition to coordinating the Hurricane Katrina program with Diocese of Louisiana's Office of Disaster Response and Lutheran Episcopal Services in Mississippi, the role of the director for Domestic Disaster Response also includes: conducting an inventory of diocesan and congregational disaster response work over the past two years; linking dioceses and ERD to preparedness networks at the local, state, and national level, and coordinating psychosocial trauma training for clergy and lay leaders.

The successful candidate's qualifications should include at least eight years of experience in domestic disaster response and extensive experience in developing and managing budgets, projects, and financial systems.

For a full job description and application instructions, please visit the Episcopal Church's website at

Episcopal Relief and Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. An independent 501(c) (3) organization, ERD saves lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and rebuild after disasters. We enable people to climb out of poverty by offering long-term solutions in the areas of food security and health care, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.