Who are we?
Lutheran Disaster Response is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a mainline Protestant denomination. Our Western Region includes the people, ministries and Lutheran institutions of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, a little piece of Texas and Hawaii. Welcome!
Relief today. Resilience tomorrow.
Wildfire Season 2022
Extreme drought continues in the West. Wildfires are more frequent and intense, and their devastation is wide ranging. This April 2022 video clip from Arizona exemplifies what will most likely be experienced throughout Western Region of the U.S. Visit our Wildfire tab above for updates.
Floods, drought, extreme heat, wind events, and earthquakes are also natural hazards that visit the homes and livelihoods of those who live in the West. A changing climate fuels many of these disaster scenarios and response alone is no longer sufficient to our communities’ needs. The root causes of disasters must be addressed as well as their impacts.
Many people of faith in the U.S. celebrated Easter, Passover or Ramadan face to face in 2022 for the first time since 2019. Currently all states in the western U.S. are in some phase of ‘re-opening.’
Businesses, churches and hubs of other social gatherings are gradually being given permission to open, or open partially observing sensible restrictions.
For updates on the coronavirus in the West and to check recommendations for your country see https://www.cdc.gov/. You will also find links to each of the eleven LDR Western Region Synod COVID resource pages under the COVID-19 tab above.
Systemic Social Disaster
Social disaster scenarios are ongoing in the United States specifically, and around the world generally. We now know that the work of Disaster Response requires resilient communities, and resilient communities are only possible where Racism and Inequity are addressed..
This brilliant interview with Andrea Henry, “Understanding How White Supremacy Shows up in Systems, Policies, and Practices” offers great insight into how racism in the U.S. today complicates and amplifies the realities of addressing the coronavirus epidemic in this country. Similar cases could be made for the intersectionality of race and other disasters as well.
Heavy rains and snow melt combine to create serious flooding in Montana, closing Yellowstone National Park and causing many to evacuate.
Water. Too little, too much, too ignored, too taken for granted. More disaster monies are spent on water based disasters than anything else.
Water is central to human survival, yet too much water also causes disasters. This past December and January Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom counties in Washington State got so much water that many towns, tribal communities, and homes were flooded. The National Weather Service created a new phrase to describe the phenomenon of huge amounts of rain without high winds: atmospheric river.
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Upsurge – a new disaster preparedness and resiliency newsletter for the LDR Western Region.