Workshop to focus on helping Harrisburg recover from tornado

April 18, 2012

Rev. Bryan Crousore, emergency response specialist.

Rev. Bryan Crousore, emergency response specialist.

Rev. Bryan Crousore, an emergency response specialist with Church World Service, will conduct a free workshop on “Long-Term Recovery from Disasters” for clergy and community members who are helping people affected by the Feb. 29 tornado in Harrisburg, IL.

The workshop will take place on May 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Zion United Church of Christ, 930 West Cherry St., in Marion, IL.

It will cover topics such as organizing a long-term recovery committee, identifying needs caused by the tornado and using appropriate resources to meet these needs. No registration is necessary to attend the workshop and all are welcome.

Rev. Crousore is an expert at helping communities get organized to meet local needs following a disaster. He began this work when a devastating tornado struck the town of Xenia, Ohio, in 1974, near where he served as a pastor.

Since then, Rev. Crousore has responded to many disasters as a pastor in the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and as a volunteer and staff member for Church World Service, a humanitarian assistance ministry of 37 Christian communions in the United States.

Rev. Crousore has provided training in the “long-term recovery process” to Midwestern and Appalachian communities affected by floods, tornadoes and other disasters. He has also helped train staff members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, members of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and other groups.

While each disaster is different, there are many lessons that can be learned from the experiences of disaster-affected communities, Rev. Crousore says. One lesson is that communities recover better when they have a shared vision of the future.

“I hope faith leaders and social service agencies will come together around a shared vision of long-term recovery from the Harrisburg tornado,” Rev. Crousore says.