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March 19th

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LSS Disaster Response: Expecting the Unexpected

hurricanepalmweb Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially began June 1st and ends November 30th, which means … we’re in it folks. Peak hurricane season is from August to October, with early to mid-September typically as the pinnacle.

Mother Nature, however, can be full of surprises and the occasional hurricane happens outside of these months. Every year, experts take their best shots at forecasting the probability of major hurricane activity and landfall in the Atlantic. And every year, the Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR) team braces and prepares for … the unexpected.

What does this mean in the daily LSSDR scheme of things? This is the window of opportunity for a proactive rather than reactive approach to disaster preparation. LSSDR preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, assessment, and improvement. All systematic planning efforts aside, when emergencies do occur — whether small scale or catastrophic — they can be overwhelming, for the communities they impact and the agencies that serve them.

The early stages of disaster response are typically filled with activity (some would call it chaos) to help meet the basic, immediate humanitarian needs of the affected population. It is a fluid environment, a moving target, as the situation “on the ground” changes rapidly – and the beginning of the long-term response structure occurs behind the scenes.

So when Hurricane “Next” comes down the pike, are we ready? Yes we are. Ready for whatever comes our way. And as a long-term recovery agency, we’re here for the long haul.

LSSDR is a long-term disaster recovery agency, serving as the local affiliate of Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR), a national collaborative effort of the Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. LSSDR response is shaped by both the financial resources available to us and a clearer understanding of where we can best allocate those resources to have the greatest impact. In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster, we’ll keep you posted through and our facebook page. To get involved, volunteer or donate here.

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