A disaster is defined as anything that causes human suffering or creates human needs that the victims cannot alleviate themselves.
A church must plan how it will respond to disasters, large and small, in the community. The plan needs to be well-thought-out and discussed by the church leaders. The people in the congregation need to discuss the plan and determine how they, as individuals, can become part of this ministry.
Local churches are in a unique position to respond to individual needs in ways that no other organization or group can. Churches can demonstrate the love of Christ as they meet the needs of victims in the time of disaster. Even spontaneous reaction to a disaster in or near the church community can be helpful if it is coordinated with the efforts of other disaster relief agencies.
The unprepared church will miss valuable opportunities to minister if not prepared. By planning before a disaster occurs and coordinating with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the local government, The Salvation Army, and local American Red Cross chapter, a church can be prepared to minister fully in a time of crisis.