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Light Our Way: A Guide for Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster for Disaster Response Volunteers, First Responders and Disaster Planners

The purpose of this resource is to inform, encourage and affirm the hundreds of thousands of disaster responders who put their personal plans and routines on hold in the event of a local or national disaster. If you are one of those who carries out one or more of the myriad essential functions in the relief and recovery stages of disaster response, this booklet is for you. It is the belief of the members of the Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster that the spiritual nature of humanity inspires the deep compassion and spontaneous generosity that we see demonstrated by individuals and whole communities after great catastrophes. We believe that all who feel compelled to help can learn more effective and caring ways to be present to those we serve. It is written for you who sometimes wonder what to do, whether you are doing enough, or whether you are doing the right thing when you encounter a survivor who is in shock. It is written for you if you are concerned when you observe a co-worker behaving in an agitated or dangerous way or when you become overwhelmed with your own fear and sorrow at the sight of massive destruction and loss of life. This booklet is also for you if you are one who wears the symbols of the religious or the chaplain’s vest—your deportment and non-anxious presence can be a model for all disaster responders.




Light Our Way- Guide for Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster