Collegiate Disaster Relief

Welcome to Oklahoma Baptist Collegiate DR. Collegiate DR will filter through the 36 Baptist Collegiate Ministries across Oklahoma under the direction of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief which is under the larger umbrella of Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief. For the most updated and expanded disaster relief information, please refer to the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief website.

Disasters bring out the best in most folks in that they are deeply touched because of widespread destruction and want to help people who have been devastated. They want to do something immediately, if not sooner. Read this article to help plan the timing of how you might respond within Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief.

Considering a Disaster Relief (DR) Trip?

It takes a few days after a major disaster for DR to get to their destination within the devastated area. Roads have to open up which may mean water has to recede and/or debris has to be removed before roadways can be reopened. On Harvey, Katrina, or Sandy size disasters, participating SBC state conventions are assigned an area in which to concentrate their relief efforts.

Somewhere within that area, in the timing which the aftermath of the disaster will determine, our BGCO DR will set up a command post, generally at an SBC church. That will become the Oklahoma Baptist DR base of operations. They will set up housing (bedding on floors), feeding, and shower trailers for volunteers. It will also become a staging area for supplies and equipment. The site will become operational as the chaos of the disaster begins to subside, traffic ways open up again, and Oklahoma DR volunteers are able to safely travel to the base of operations.

The volunteers and equipment will come from all over Oklahoma. If it is a local disaster and your association has disaster relief trailers, contact Denny Freeman, and then your Association’s Director of Missions as soon as you are able, because help is needed immediately. Please wait a few days after a large scale disaster before contacting Denny.

Supervising DR efforts

For BCM Directors and Associates, wanting to earn the Disaster Relief blue cap which will allow you to be able to supervise your students using chainsaw equipment, ALL of the following steps must be completed:

  • Attended blue cap DR training at a regular DR blue cap training.
  • Complete the basic intro DR Training (Locations for fall/spring trainings are on the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief website)
  • Also while at the basic intro DR training, complete the chain saw option.
  • Get at least one student trained in DR with chainsaw option.
  • (Optional) At another DR training event, complete the mud out/recovery option as well.The DR training schedule and locations can be found here.
  • Download and use the “SBDR Responds” app and be sure to complete the forms below.

The following forms must be filled out BEFORE leaving for a disaster or practice run-through:

Remember: 18 years is the minimum age for anyone to be able to work with Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief or if they are an enrolled student and under 18, must have a parent’s signature.

  • Pre-Trip report sent to Cris Lowery
  • Insurance Info Form Email completed form to: mvanzandt@oklahomabaptists.org Her phone is 405 942-3800 ex 4336. Neither you or your students have insurance until this completed form (or a picture of the completed form) is emailed. All that is required is that your emailed form (or emailed picture of the completed form) be in her inbox. Being in her inbox will date and time proof your form. She doesn’t have to be at work to “receive” it. Keep the following 2 completed forms from each person with you in a safe place. A large envelope works well. Remember it has extremely personal information for each person. Guard it well!
  • Safety Emergency Medical Contact Form
  • Release and Indemnity Agreement Form
  • For a practice run or ministry to someone who needs chainsaw help, complete the following forms in addition to the above 3 forms:
    • Property Owner’s Request for Assistance
    • Activity Report after the assistance
  1. Contact Chad Coleman (ccoleman@oklahomabaptists.org) to let him know you plan to pursue a Disaster Relief trip. It would be helpful if you would let him know what you are thinking in the areas of:
    • Where you plan to go
    • When you plan to go and return home
    • Number of students you think might go (not binding, but will give DR an idea)
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  2. After you contact Chad, contact Marianne VanZandt, DR administrative assistant. mvanzandt@oklahomabaptists.org  or (405) 942-3800 ex4336.  When you contact her, you have officially contacted SBC disaster relief and there is a record of your interest.
  3. Please plan your arrival to the DR base of operations or your lodging assignment before late night so your arrival won’t wake the cooks who get up at 4am every day.
  4. Have a cell phone number for your contact at the base of operations so if you are delayed you can notify them that you are not on schedule, especially if you will arrive after everyone is in bed.
  5. The week of the trip:
    • Have all students fill out the insurance and beneficiary forms.  You cannot start the trip until those two forms are completed.
    • Report your final numbers with male and female breakdown.
    • Be sure DR knows your travel day and what time you expect to arrive.
    • Be sure DR knows your departure day and whether you want meals before you leave.

If you have problems during travel and you see that you won’t be close to your reported arrival time, let DR know ASAP or call Chad and he will relay the information.   Arriving late at night is discouraged but because of travel problems, may not be avoidable.  The cooks are the ones who get up first in the mornings at around 4am or so, if you do have to arrive late, be courteous to those who feed you and settle in quietly