Natural disasters such as flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes are devastating for whole communities. Disasters can fall into two categories: natural and man-made. Victims and disaster workers can be left feeling confused and shocked. These experiences can last for years. Man-made disasters can include plane crashes, train wrecks, chemical or oil spills, multiple shootings, mass murders or even bombings. People suffer and there is usually much property destruction and damage. For man-made disasters, there is usually no warning.
Stress, confusion, and anger are some reactions from a disaster. As a chaplain, you will be called upon to bring comfort and care to those that have experienced both man-made and natural disasters.
There are two made phases of a disaster. The emergency response phase and the recovery phase. During the emergency response phase, there is usually a lot of confusion and injured to attend to, people to be counted for and the remains of the dead to be identified. The disaster area must be secured against looters and necessary items such as food, drinkable water, clothing, and temporary shelter must be established.
Often in large-scale natural disasters and critical incidences, you will be part of a team. You must remember to be clearly identified as a chaplain and follow all safety guidelines and rules. There is no room for lone rangers or heroes at a natural disaster or critical incident.
The Chaplaincy Certification Program will provide you with practical hands-on experience from those that have been involved in such natural disasters as the 9/11 plane crashes.
As a chaplain during the situations, you will not only have to deal with the general population but also the disaster recovery workers themselves. And even other chaplains. At times the situations are so horrific and the stress is so intense that you as a chaplain must be aware when you need some care and ministry yourself.