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How Not to Bring Relief After a Natural Disaster

Dr. Jamie Aten, disaster readiness expert and founder of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, gives guidance for churches that want to help in the wake of natural calamities.

How Not to Bring Relief After a Natural Disaster

How did you originally get involved with trauma relief work?

Picture this:

We've just moved from Chicago area down to south Mississippi. Our cell phones have no signal. We live in the country, no TV signal yet. The cable guy is coming on Monday. We know a storm is coming, but it's supposed to hit on the other side of Louisiana. So we go to church on our first Sunday in Mississippi, and we know no one there. The pastor gets up that Sunday morning and says, "If you remember Camille, then you know what I'm about ready to say."

My wife turns to me and says, "Who's Camille?"

I joke and say, "Well, she must have been in the Old Testament."

And then he goes on to talk about Camille being one of the worst disasters to ever hit the US.

Then he talks about Hurricane Katrina, and how the storm has shifted and is actually aiming to come right over where we lived. ...

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Ashley Emmert served as an assistant editor for the Church Law and Tax Group at Christianity Today.

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Posted:
  • November 12, 2013

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