Churches of Scientology Disaster Response joins over 45 other organizations in FEMA’s 2022 Partnership Month celebration

Churches of Scientology Disaster Response Volunteers partnering with World Central Kitchen, in Mayfield, KY

FEMA Partnership Month 2022 participating organizations

Churches of Scientology Disaster Response volunteer at the 2022 National VOAD annual conference in Baltimore, MD

CSDR is a member of the National VOAD

Over the years government and private sector disaster relief organizations have solidified their efforts to bring help to those devastated by natural disasters

Helping individual people and communities to be resilient and recover is our top priority.”
— Rev. Susan Taylor, CSDR National Director
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, August 18, 2022 / -- Hundreds of natural disasters rage through the United States each year. The large ones are nationally declared by the President and smaller ones are declared by the governor of the affected state. Each one, no matter the size, devastates those impacted. Coming to their aid is a partnership of voluntary organizations working hand in hand with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This month, August 2022, is FEMA Partnership Month and celebrates the successful alliance of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) members and FEMA. This event, being held virtually, celebrates the strong collaborative partnership that has developed over the years.

In recognition of this partnership, FEMA is showcasing, through a virtual exhibit of short videos, the valuable services and support that voluntary, faith-based, community-based, and other partners provide before, during and after disasters.

The videos of over 45 organizations, including the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR), the American Red Cross, Adventist Services, Team Rubicon, and the Salvation Army, are featured on the FEMA website.

Rev. Susan Taylor, National Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response organization and chair of the Washington, DC VOAD, recently hosted the DC VOAD meeting, sharing the disaster work of their local organizations and emphasizing the FEMA Partnership Month’s video exhibit as well as the many virtual meetings being held during the month’s celebration.

FEMA and over 100 National VOAD member organizations have come together hundreds, if not thousands, of times across the US helping devastated communities. By pooling resources and volunteers, survivors of disaster incidents are helped with shelter, food distribution, individual assistance, debris removal, child care, spiritual and emotional care and flood mitigation.

“This successful collaboration between government and the private sector in the U.S. has inspired other countries to attend National VOAD conferences in order to learn how to structure potential collaborations in their countries,” said Rev. Taylor. “Helping individual people and communities to be resilient and recover is our top priority. As we continue to improve our own efforts in the US, we are eager to share with others on a global basis.”

Natural disasters have increased over the last several years not only in number but length of seasons as well. Tornado season now extends into December as experienced by communities hit by December 2021’s ten devastating tornados in western Kentucky.

Supporting this fact, an article on noted: “Data from U.S. government agencies has proven that natural disasters are becoming more prevalent and storm-related property damage costs are increasing. 2020 and 2021 were the worst years on record for the most natural disasters. In 2021, 20 weather-related disasters totaled more than $1 billion in damages each and $145 billion in total combined damages overall, making it the third costliest year in history for natural disasters. 2020 recorded a jaw-dropping 22 recorded billion-dollar weather events. Not only are natural disasters becoming more common, they are also becoming more widespread. For instance, in 2021, Texas and other parts of the South experienced a winter storm event that caused widespread power outages and multiple pile-up car accidents. Also, in late 2021, the first known derecho in December to occur in the U.S. caused extensive damage in the upper Midwest.”

To help meet and expand the response and relief activities following these devastating incidents, the National VOAD and FEMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2010 to broaden communication and coordination between FEMA and National VOAD Members.

“This collaboration, strengthened by the MOU, between the private and government sectors has borne out well as a vital part of our country’s response and is growing stronger each year,” concluded Rev. Taylor.

As a member of National VOAD, the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR) staff and volunteers reach out to help those in need no matter what the circumstance and have for more than 30 years brought relief to those devastated by earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, bombings, shootings, and other disasters. CSDR is tasked with the duties of providing spiritual care as well as assisting with the unmet material needs of survivors, responders and caregivers who are affected by trauma, loss, upset, stress and confusion after a disaster.

The Church of Scientology’s long-term commitment to help is written throughout its scriptures. The Scientology Handbook, based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion, defines the role of the Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers. Mr. Hubbard wrote, “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”

Scientologists assist people in hospitals recover from illness or injury, they help the underprivileged secure a valuable education by improving their ability to study, they heal troubled marriages, they salvage lives from drug abuse, they are active in criminal rehabilitation, in raising society’s moral standards and they are on the scene to bring relief to those victimized by disaster.

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Affairs Office
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