PDA National Response Team members represent PDA and the PC(USA) in the field following a national disaster. They provide support to presbyteries and synods as they assess the impact of the disaster on both the church and the community, and they assist in connecting presbyteries to recovery resources.
A three-year appointment requires a minimum availability of four weeks per year — two weeks for field work, one week of disaster training, and one week for the annual NRT meeting. Typically, during periods of availability, response will be required within 72 hours of a nationally declared disaster.
While all members of the team train together and are available to be first responders in natural disasters, some members of the National Response Team will develop competencies in Emotional/Spiritual Care, Human Caused Event Response, Long Term Recovery Organizing, Church Damage, and Volunteer Work Team Hospitality.
Those selected to work in the area of hospitality should have experience (or be willing to be trained) in volunteer management, connecting volunteers to long term recovery organizations, and disaster preparedness training. These volunteers will provide preparedness training to presbyteries and congregations who may want to host volunteer work teams if a disaster happens in their community. After a disaster they assist synods, presbyteries and congregations who desire to become host sites for volunteer work teams.
All applicants should have excellent communications skills, demonstrated ability to work under stress, experience in disaster response, organizational skills and experience in conflict management.
PDA is continuously seeking those with experience in long-term recovery, volunteer management and disaster recovery organizing. These persons are not part of the National Response Team and therefore do not commit themselves to the same level of involvement. However, the National Volunteers do make themselves available for specific tasks during the relief and recovery period following a disaster. PDA National Volunteers with specific disaster-related expertise may be asked to represent PDA at meetings in their area of expertise. For those with difficulty giving extended time to response or already have a heavy schedule, this provides an important way to be involved with PDA national response efforts.
PDA is seeking 10 to 12 persons to act as regional trainers (within a six-synod area) to serve an initial four-year term. Trainers will be asked to provide a minimum of three two-day trainings per year to Synod and Presbytery Disaster Response Teams covering topics including basic disaster response, long term recovery, self-care for leaders, volunteer management and spiritual care in disaster.
Applicants should have excellent communication skills, experience in training in the church or other non-profit environments and knowledge and experience in disaster response.
Candidates will be required to present two references and an endorsement of their Session (for elders) or Presbytery (for ordained clergy).
Apply to serve with PDA
Application and appraisal forms are available in Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat formats.
Microsoft Word documents can be downloaded, completed on your computer, and emailed to us.
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) documents can be downloaded and completed by hand; the document can then be scanned and emailed, mailed, or faxed to PDA.
For more information on becoming part of the PDA Volunteer network, contact John Robinson.