Staff support day to stress disaster planning

Deacon Jerry Miller

By Anne Marie Amacher

A new diocesan disaster preparedness guide is in the final draft and will be completed in time for the April 30 Diocesan Support Day 2009 Preparing for Disasters.

Deacon David Montgomery, director of communication for the Diocese of Davenport, said the staff support day this year focuses solely on disaster planning. This year’s program will be held April 30 at Holy Trinity Parish Center in Richmond.

For the past two years, the support day has offered a variety of topics to choose from throughout the day, but this year the diocese will offer three separate days. One is the diocesan-wide support day in Richmond to focus on disaster preparation. Another offering is orientation for new staff members in the parishes/diocese this summer. The third support program is hands-on computer training.

During last year’s support day, held in Richmond and in Davenport, preparing for disasters such as the pandemic flu and other possibilities was discussed. But Deacon Montgomery said after the floods of 2008, it was decided that a new disaster guide needed to be produced. “The floods pointed out we needed to focus more on disaster planning.”

Bishop Martin Amos would like at least one representative from each parish and school to attend the preparing for disasters support day. At that meeting the new planning guides will be issued, Deacon Montgomery said.

“We started from the beginning,” he said. The committee  did not focus on just updating the guide following the floods. “We updated all the sections and have worked with schools and parishes so they are on the same page now,” he noted.

Deacon Montgomery will talk about the general disaster planning in three parts throughout the day.

In addition to him, Glenn Leach, a volunteer in the social action department at the diocese, will speak on the floods of 2008. Leach worked with various agencies regarding flood relief and “was closest to the work following the floods,” Deacon Montgomery said.

Deacon Jerry Miller will talk about the tornado that struck St. Patrick Church in Iowa City on Holy Thursday night in 2006. Deacon Miller was in the parish’s chapel in the basement of the rectory when the tornado struck.

Terry Eagle, a retired Muscatine firefighter and member of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine, will talk about the fire that destroyed the former Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Muscatine in 1997. “He was on the scene,” Deacon Montgomery said. Eagle also is on the planning committee at Ss. Mary & Mathias.

The preparing for disasters diocesan support day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 30 at the Holy Trinity Parish Center in Richmond.

Registration is due April 20 so that materials and supplies can be ordered. There is no cost to attend as it is funded by the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

For more information or to register, contact Barbara Butterworth at (563) 324-1912, ext. 265 or e-mail butterworthb@davenportdiocese.org.

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