Emergency Management Department

Archdiocese of New Orleans


Volume 1...May 2007 

(Publisher File)

Matthew 25 Disaster Preparedness and Response Manual

The Archdiocesan Disaster Response Manual describes the basic strategies, assumptions, and mechanisms through which church parishes of the Archdiocese of New Orleans can conduct activities to support local disaster response, relief, and recovery efforts within the community. 

This is a comprehensive training manual which will guide you through disaster preparedness activities specifically designed for the church, clergy and parishioners of the parish.  This program is inclusive of all areas which can be affected by disaster such as physical environment, checklists for preparation, response and recovery activities, and support guides for spiritual and mental health care. 

Disaster Recovery Manual



Disaster Planning Outline (Printable Format)





  1. Establish a Disaster Planning Ministry.  The Disaster Ministry can be made up of members from other ministries as well as parishioners who have not served in a ministry. A successful Disaster Planning Ministry should include a team leader who will be the contact for all emergencies, a volunteer manager, an outreach coordinator, a secretary, and a liaison to other churches and relief agencies in the community. Some examples of ministries and parishioners to include are (Form 1-A):
    • Young Adult Ministry
    • Building and Grounds
    • Parish Council
    • Retired nurses, doctors, firemen, police officers, college students


  1. Disaster Planning Activities
    • Conduct a church census (include special needs form in census to identify special needs parishioners 2-B)
    • Inventory parish holdings (Form 2-A, 2-C – 2-H)
    • Building and Grounds should conduct routine maintenance (Form 2-I, 2-J)
    • Stock up on Emergency Supplies (Form 2-K)
    • Educate Parishioners through a Disaster Preparedness Day (Form 2-L)


  1. Checklists Specific to Natural Disasters
    • Hurricanes and Tropical Storms (Form 3-A)
    • Floods (3-B)
    • Tornadoes (3-C)
    • Fire Drill (3-D)


  1. Checklists Specific to Manmade Disasters
    • Bomb Threat (4-A)
    • Documenting a Bomb Threat Form (4-B)
    • Suspect Identification Chart (4-C)
    • Suspect Identification Description Sheet (4-D)
    • Hostage Checklist (4-E)
    • Sheltering-in-Place Checklist (4-F)
    • HAZMAT Incident Onsite Form (4-G)


  1. Compile important emergency numbers (Form 5-A)


  1. How the church can respond and coordinate volunteer management
    • Volunteer Application and timesheet(Form 6-A, 6-B)
    • Recognition Certificate (6-C)
    • Create gifts of the heart kits to distribute to victims of disaster (6-D).
    • Contact Catholic Charities to identify your church as a distribution site for victims of a disaster.
    • Engage parishioners in prayer for victims of disaster.


  1. Educate Parishioners on the local authority’s plan for disasters. In New Orleans we have the City Assisted Evacuation Plan (CAEP) for hurricane season. We encourage all church parishes and programs to register those in need (7-A).



Compendium of Most Forms

Important Contacts

Trainings Evaluation Form

 Original Manual (2007-2008)

2009 Training and Additions 



Pandemic Flu Planning





Catholic Mutual Information

Catholic Mutual has a website full of additional information, forms , and resources that can be used to supplement the disaster manual.

Here are directions for using the website:

1. Visit http://www.catholicmutual.org

2. CLICK “Members Only”

3. ENTER login: “0073new” password: “service”

4. CLICK “Enter”

5. Under “Risk Management” CLICK “Materials”

6. CLICK “CARES-Index”

 The CARES-Index is a resource list that can be used to gain additional information on Emergency Preparedness, Employee Safety, Facility/Program Evaluation, Fidelity Control, Fire Prevention, Health Care/Nursing Homes, Home Safety, Liability Control, Mold Prevention, Parish Events Safety, School Safety, and Vehicular Safety.