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  • From Despair to Hope: Your Lenten Generosity Transforms Lives
    By Litz Main As the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the countless individuals and families who…
  • Exploring Mental Health Awareness
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  • Fair housing — Exploring the impact on families and communities
    April is Fair Housing Awareness Month, commemorating the passing of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color, national origin,…
  • How preparing for disaster can keep your family safe, and serve your community
    At Catholic Charities, we understand that disaster preparation, response, and recovery isn’t just a safety issue — it’s also a poverty issue. Unfortunately, disaster doesn’t discriminate between the financially stable…
  • Parishes partner to provide mental health support
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  • Resource Fair marks Catholic Charities Food Pantry second anniversary.
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  • Youth & Education Assistant
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Part-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a dedicated addition to join our agency’s case management team and play a…
  • Site Director (Columbia)
    Columbia, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a dynamic and experienced leader to join our team. The ideal candidate is…
  • Administrative Assistant (Central Office)
    Jefferson City, MO • Catholic Charities Job Type: Full-time Description Overview Catholic Charities of Central & Northern Missouri is seeking a customer-service minded addition to join our agency’s administrative team and play…

Top Ten: Ways to Prepare Before a Disaster

Catholic Charities Community Services has prepared this handy list of ten things you can do to prepare before a disaster.

  1. Obtain insurance — make sure you have auto insurance and home or renter’s insurance. If you have been flooded previously, make sure you are current on your flood insurance policy.
  2. Ensure you have back up documents in an alternative location. These should include proof of residency, insurance information, utility company information, birth certificate, and copies of photo I.D.s
  3. Develop and practice an escape plan with your whole household. Include a location to meet if you are not together during a disaster. Designate a relative or friend in another town or state you can call to check in with, as local phone lines are often down after a disaster.
  4. Create a disaster kit. This should have food and water for at least three days for each person and animal in your family. Keep a weather radio, first aid kit, hygiene items, flashlights, extra batteries, cash, extra medication and phone chargers in this kit.
  5. If you have pets, keep extra leashes and collars in your disaster kit.
  6. Keep back-ups of photos and special memories. Save personal photos and memories on in a photo sharing app online or in the cloud.
  7. Connect with media outlets a variety of ways —  over the air, on social media, smartphone apps, website live streaming, radio or text notifications.
  8. If you take medication: Keep records of your medication, dosage, refill dates and any special instructions with your disaster kit.
  9. If you are warned of an impending disaster: stock up on gasoline, charge electronic devices and charging banks. Download and use Missouri’s MODOT app for up-to-date road conditions
  10. If you have time, prepare your house! Clean gutters and drains to avoid water back up, move furniture to higher levels of the house (or out of the house), disconnect appliances, turn off water, trim trees, etc.

Want to learn more? Our team is evolving the Catholic Disaster Preparedness Program into a session-based training for parishes and parishioners to better equip communities to prepare for and respond to disasters. In the meantime, you can see our “Top Ten: Things to Do After a Disaster” post to familiarize yourself with how to best respond after a disaster affects you or your community.