When disasters happen, people turn to local churches as centers for response and assistance. When floods or tornadoes devastate an area, or when shootings and violence shock a community, knowing what to do can be the difference between calm and chaos, courage and fear, life and death. But few churches plan in advance for what they should do—until the storm hits.

Don't get caught unprepared. The Disaster Ministry Handbook provides a practical guide  for disaster preparedness so your church can minister to the  hurting if a natural disaster or human tragedy strikes your  community.

Disaster ministry is a critically important work of  the church, preparing for the unthinkable, providing relief to  survivors, caring for the vulnerable and helping communities  recover.

Filled with resources for emergency planning and crisis management, this book provides best practices for local congregations. By taking action in advance, your church can help prevent harm, save lives during, and learn how to care for the vulnerable amid disaster.


  • Stephan Bauman

    president and CEO, World Relief

    "This book helps churches and individuals follow Jesus to the front lines of tragedy, whether human-made or natural, to serve people in their greatest need. Drs. Aten and Boan collapse typical dichotomies of professional/laity, church/agency and word/deed by presenting an inspiring and thoroughly helpful guide to those bold enough to insist that faith must be lived out during crisis."

  • Ed Stetzer


    "Churches are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, bringing aid and joy to a hurting world beset by difficulty and tragedy. In Disaster Ministry Handbook, Aten and Boan provide practical procedures for establishing disaster ministries in your church, healing the hearts of those in distress as well as helping those in need. Every pastor should prepare to lead, even in the most difficult circumstances; to that end this book is vital."

  • Harold G. Koenig, MD

    professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, and codirector of Duke’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health

    "This is a much needed book that will help equip the local church for effective disaster response. It is full of practical and helpful examples, tools and resources. One of the unique features of this book is that it is not just based on years of the authors' experience—but that it is also based on the authors' research. This is a highly recommended book for clergy, church leaders and lay leaders alike."

  • Kenichi Shinagawa

    general secretary of Japan Evangelical Association

    "Since the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami disaster, churches in Japan have been learning disaster ministry in a hard way. As the general secretary of Japan Evangelical Association, there were many times I wished that I had a guidebook for this kind of ministry. This handbook by Drs. Aten and Boan clearly outlines the scope and necessary components of disaster ministry in a comprehensive manner, which give us a big picture of what disaster ministry is all about. It also provides very practical tips and procedures that help us to put things in action and actually get things done in a real disaster situation. I have personally worked closely with Drs. Aten and Boan in our disaster response ministries in Japan and their research and insights have helped us a great deal. I would like to recommend this book for all who are involved in disaster ministry."

  • Sheryl Haw

    international director, Micah Network

    "I got a first-hand taste of the excellent training and fresh approach that Drs. Jamie Aten and David Boan deliver. Their holistic insight into risk reduction, community resilience and disaster preparedness is amazing, from dealing with small community emergencies to large-scale national emergencies. This launched a strong partnership between the Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Micah Network, where we have collaborated in our Asia Regional Consultation entitled Solidarity in Disaster Management. I was thrilled to see the collation of all this experience into an accessible and very important handbook for all engaged in disaster ministry. That should be all of us, as we never know when we will be called on to respond. It is better to be ready and to ensure that our communities are best prepared. This handbook should be in the hands of all of us who are committed to caring for our communities. Thanks for this important resource."

  • Ben Lowe

    activist, national spokesperson, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, author, Doing Good Without Giving Up

    "In my work on climate change and environmental problems, I've become acutely aware that disasters—whether in the form of violent conflicts, spreading diseases or extreme weather events—are only growing worse and more frequent. We know that when such disasters hit, people turn to churches and Christians for help. The question is, will we be faithful and ready? Thanks to Jamie Aten and David Boan, the answer can be a resounding yes. This highly practical book is an urgent and important resource for Christians and churches everywhere."

Stay connected and get the latest updates from Jamie through the Humanitarian Disaster Institute.

© 2020 Jamie Aten

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