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Congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod may host Disaster Response training for individuals in their area to join a Lutheran Early Response Team. LERT is a network of volunteers trained to respond in times of disaster.

The LCMS answers frequently asked questions about disaster response training.

How can our congregation receive training?

To schedule a training session in your area, contact your District Disaster Response Coordinator (DDRC) at your LCMS district office. They are responsible for coordinating all LCMS LERT training in your district.

How much does training cost?

A registration fee of $35 per person helps cover the cost of lunch and snacks, training materials, and a LERT T-shirt; $15 will be sent to LCMS Disaster Response to help cover the cost of materials and shipping.

You will receive your certificate of participation, volunteer ID card, and T-shirt from LCMS Disaster Response after the training is complete. Your LERT trainer will distribute all the LERT materials during and after the class.

Should we advertise to other LCMS congregations?

No event comes together by itself. It takes time, work and energy to tell people about an event. You should advertise this event in your local congregation.

It is vital that you contact your circuit visitor and pastors within your circuit, as well as their lay leaders, to ask if they could also advertise this training within their congregations. Your DDRC should also help coordinate the announcement through district communication channels.

How long will training last?

The training sessions are generally scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Your district trainer may choose to divide the sessions between a Friday evening and Saturday morning if preferred.

What will we study?

There are three main sections:

1) An introduction to the LCMS Disaster Response program

2) Congregation preparedness

3) Lutheran Early Response Teams

Who can be trained?

Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend the training session. Only LCMS members who are 14 years or older, however, will receive certification as LCMS volunteers.

How much advance time does it take to schedule?

Training usually can be scheduled within three months of the request. But make sure you leave time to adequately advertise among your congregation, circuit and district. Coordinate all this with your DDRC and your local district LERT trainer.

How can we get more general information?

Contact LCMS Disaster Response at disaster@lcms.org, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/LCMSDisasterResponse, or call 888-843-5267 (THE LCMS).

Registration for the training will take place through the LERT Volunteer site: lcms-lert.org. The website is where LERT volunteers can see opportunities for LERT training and deployments, and your DDRC will coordinate and communicate LERT activities in your district through the site. To get started, click the “Sign Up” button on the top right of the site.

Invite others to join LERT by sharing these resources:

LCMS Disaster Response