Scientology Open House on How to Survive a Disaster
The Church of Scientology of Washington State hosted a World Civil Defense Day open house highlighting its Volunteer Ministers program, disaster response activities and how to effectively exchange vital information in times of emergency.
Seattle’s Church of Scientology hosted a community open house this month in celebration of World Civil Defense Day. The event featured the Church’s Volunteer Minister (VM) disaster response work in Washington State as part of Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WAVOAD). VOAD’s mission is to foster more effective service to people affected by disaster through cooperation, coordination, communication and collaboration.
In addition, Seattle’s unique Emergency Communication Hubs were highlighted in a special presentation by FEMA Community Preparedness Champions award winner Cindi Barker, who coordinates the activation of these Hubs in the greater Seattle area. With over 150 Hubs now online, trained volunteers collect information on local situations, needs and resources and assist in the allocation of resources to fit those needs in times of disaster.
According to the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, earthquakes are the most serious hazard facing Seattle. Unlike other potentially catastrophic hazards, Seattle has had and will experience powerful earthquakes. It states, “2013 research finds that Seattle is at risk of thousands of landslides following a strong (magnitude 7) Seattle Fault earthquake.”
Local Emergency Communication Hubs were created to address Seattle’s earthquake threat as well as other emergency situations. Seattle’s Volunteer Minister Corps is in the process of establishing its Church headquarters as one of the area’s Emergency Communication Hubs to assist the local community in emergency situations.
Whether serving in their neighborhoods or on the other side of the world, the motto of the Scientology Volunteer Minister is “Something can be done about it.” The program, created in the mid 1970s by L. Ron Hubbard and sponsored by the Church of Scientology International as a religious social service, constitutes one of the world’s largest independent relief forces. The Volunteer Minister “helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.”
David Scattergood, Disaster Response Director for the Church of Scientology of Washington State, briefed the audience that Volunteer Minister training is available to anyone, anywhere, through free online Scientology Handbook Tools for Life courses in 19 subjects, including study tools, communication, marriage, parenting, dealing with stress, success in the workplace, achieving goals and disaster relief.
“One purpose of World Civil Defense Day is to raise awareness of preparedness, prevention and self-protection measures in the event of accidents or disasters,” said Scattergood. “So, we held this open house to let the public know about the existence of Seattle’s Emergency Communications Hubs and the help that can be provided by Volunteer Ministers and other groups in our area.”
For an example of major disaster response organized by Scientology Volunteer Ministers, watch “Hope at the Roof of the World,” an episode of Voices for Humanity on the Scientology Network, or visit the Volunteer Ministers website at www.volunteerministers.org.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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