Day 3 at Exercise Unified Response, where response pastors are one of 70 organisations taking part in a large disaster training exercise.
In the morning the ‘Faith team’ – which includes response pastors – supported the local borough response by staffing the reception centre.
The scenario was that all the residents of a nearby housing complex needed to be immediately evacuated to the reception centre for an indefinite amount of time. Response pastors dealt with just over 150 people, addressing issues such as not having access to medication, not being able to locate friends, and a partially sighted lady with a guide dog that needed feeding.
The teams had to interact with other organisations in order to resolve situations. They liaised with the British Red Cross on medical matters and the local authority with regard to temporary overnight accommodation. Response pastors took responsibility for faith matters and were even able to supply Jewish prayers to someone who was distressed to be without them.
At the start of the shift we had set out a prayer area and marked which way was east. This was very soon put to good use.