REGION 1 congregation preparation network

Region 1 Disaster Preparedness and Response Initiatives

As Lutherans, part of our calling to love and serve our neighbor is to be ready to help when disaster strikes. We are individuals, families, congregations and community members ready to help as we can during the critical hours, days, weeks and years following a disaster. There is much we can do together to be ready to respond!

In partnership with Lutheran Disaster Response and our state and local partners in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Montana, we are congregations training congregations in preparedness and response for times of natural disaster.

Please join us in taking steps to be ready to survive, serve, and thrive together as families, congregations, and communities! To contact the Oregon Disaster Preparedness and Response Planning Team, email us at or contact Jan Wierima at (503) 318-8145. To a part of our broader, Region 1 Network contact Dave Brauer-Rieke at or (971) 255-9331.

After over a year of engaging education and sharing our Oregon Congregational Network is growing to include people in Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. Contact if you are interested. We would love to have you!

Network Meetings are 60-90 minutes long. Feel free to review as you wish. (Listed from most recent at top.)

Drought, Heatwaves & Fire 2021

The west has been in a worsening drought for 22 years running now. Water shortages, worsening wildfire seasons and heatwaves are compounding problems as climate change is now clearlly felt through the region. Farmers, ranchers, fisheries and more are hurting, not to mention the general public day to day.

Oregon WIldfires September 2020

NBC News’ Jacob Ward details the destruction left behind by dozens of wildfires across Oregon as the West Coast continues to undergo massive fires spread throughout the region. Wildfires have been getting more frequent and more fierce throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Climate change with without a doubt one driving factor.


Disaster 101 & Oregon Wildfires

A basic Disaster Preparation training done with Oregon Synod congregations October 12, 2020.


July 28, 2021 Alaska Earthquake

Earthquakes are a regular part of life in Alaska. A Magnitude 8.2 earthquake occured off the coast of Alaska July 28, 2021 and this footage shows the response of a school classroom. Imagine! Over 30,000 (!) earthquakes have occured in Alaska January-August 2021, although many or too small to be felt.

Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake

Steven Eberlein works for the American Red Cross Cascades Region — encouraging people to prepare for disasters, especially earthquakes. This 11 minute video is well worth your time. Learn about the expected Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake threat and what you can do about it.


The Great Quake and the Great Drowning Devotion

A devotion focusing on Native American stories of the last Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. Used for an Oregon Synod training event September 19, 2020.

A Team Effort

It takes everybody to help out in times of disaster. It takes churches, local businesses, non-profits, state and federal assistance, county emergency manages and so many more. Lutherans are present through local congregations, camps and food banks. We volunteer with the Red Cross, United Way or train to be case workers and advocates. Those with gifts of prayer and presence may visit or sit with those experiencing loss. And we give not only of our time and treasures, but with the sweat of our brow – like we all do.

Lutheran Disaster Response is staying in close communication around the needs created by the Umatilla Flooding. They are present through representation on the Oregon VOAD. They are present through Lutheran Community Services Northwest. They are on the phone with local leadership twice a month and when the time is right, if there is a need, they are able to bring further financial and training resources to bear.

If you have questions about Lutheran involvement and present for those in Umatilla County and beyond please feel free to contact us.