“What do you do after a disaster? How do you get the message out to your family and loved ones that you’re okay or that your need help?” asks Gabe Tischler, Emergency Management Specialist, Catholic Charities of Florida, Inc. who will be leading five Disaster Preparedness Workshops this March for parishes throughout the Diocese of Orlando.
“It’s all about communication before, during and after the storm,” he said.
Tischler advises that every household should have an emergency plan with a communication strategy to help get the word out to your family in case of emergency.
“Cell towers are often overloaded after a storm, making phone calls almost impossible. It’s a similar situation for landlines that are now internet based and bundled with cable, internet and phone – when your internet goes out, so does your landline,” Tischler explained.
“What people don’t realize is that text messaging will work when a phone call won’t because it doesn’t take up as much data. It’s the little details like these that can make a world of difference in an emergency situation,” said Tischler.
Disaster recovery is comprised of various stages — immediate relief, short-term recovery and long-term recovery. The Diocese of Orlando has adopted a model of disaster relief — created by the Diocese of Houston — that calls upon staff and volunteers of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, volunteers of St. Vincent de Paul Society, and representatives of each parish community to address the various needs of victims during these stages.
Pastors throughout the Diocese of Orlando are invited to send at least two parishioners to one Disaster Preparedness Workshop. To RSVP, email Lisa.Boivin@cflcc.org or call 407-470-1357.
Central Deanery, March 5, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church
861 Maitland Avenue, Altamonte Springs
Eastern Deanery, March 9, 6-9 p.m.
Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church
4675 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange
Western Deanery, March 10, 6-9 p.m.
Church of the Resurrection
3855 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland
Northern Deanery. March 11, 3-6 p.m.
St. Timothy Catholic Church
1351 Paige Place, The Villages
Southern Deanery, March 12, 6-9 p.m.
Divine Mercy Catholic Church
1940 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island