How We Work

Cooperative Efforts
Convoy of Hope Disaster Response cooperatively works with local churches, community and faith-based organizations, and government agencies to coordinate relief efforts and deliver life sustaining aid to victims of disaster.

Notification and Activation
Convoy of Hope monitors weather systems and daily national and local situation reports regarding disasters, pandemics and other threats. When it is determined a geographic area is at risk or directly impacted by a disaster, contact is made with partners in the area to place them on alert and/or provide critical information (i.e. districts, local churches, FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons, and State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management).

When disaster strikes, local churches are strongly encouraged to take the initiative and communicate their needs and concerns to their district to ensure adequate help and support is available.

Assessment Information Needed in Disaster Situations
Accurate information is critical to determine the level of response required in each disaster. Convoy of Hope Disaster Assessment Teams (DAT) and Disaster Communication Teams (DCT) located across the nation provide firsthand information. This information is also gathered through relationships with state and federal Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management, local churches, media, situation reports, and emergency response personnel.

Information Convoy of Hope uses to determine levels of response include the following:

  • Type and extent of damage sustained
  • Population of areas affected
  • Number of homes impacted (total loss, major and minor damage)
  • Number of displaced families
  • Extent of utility outages (water, gas, electric, sewer)
  • Condition of water sources (boil orders and contamination)
  • Proximity of churches and organizations
  • Road conditions and accessibility into impacted areas
  • Weather conditions
  • Communication grid status
  • Budget and resource availability

Five Levels of Guidance for Our Response
Convoy of Hope Disaster Response has identified five levels of guidance that determine what kind of response is needed. Levels of guidance are based on the number of households displaced by a disaster.

LevelDisplaced HouseholdsResponse Practices
  I 0 - 100
  • Initiate disaster assessment
  • Contact key partners in and out of impact area
  • Interface with State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management
  • Survey impacted area churches for response capacity
  • Provide response consultation and materials
  • Conduct ongoing assessments
  • Report to key stakeholders
II100 – 500 In addition to Level I, Response Practices include…
  • National Leadership Team Onsite (NLT)
III 500 - 2,000 In addition to Levels I and II, Response Practices include…
  • Establish field office
  • Determine response model(s)
  • Select and establish locations for Points of Distribution (POD)
IV2,000 - 50,000 In addition to Levels I, II and III, Response Practices include…
  • Secure supply lines
  • Establish Volunteer Reception Center (VRC)
V 50,000+ In addition to Levels I - IV, Response Practices include…
  • Regional and local warehousing

Typically, Level I and, many times, Level II guidance does not call for Convoy of Hope to have an on-site presence or mobilize resources to an impacted area. However, there may be a disaster incident in local or regional proximity to Convoy of Hope’s Worldwide Distribution Center, calling for an exception to Level I and II protocols.

Distribution Site Selection Criteria
Typically, Convoy of Hope does not use church parking lots as distribution sites because they do not meet logistics requirements. Ideal locations include the following components:

  • Located near hardest hit areas
  • Ingress and egress that supports significant vehicle traffic, including semi-trucks; and highway access
  • Locations with unmet needs (e.g., outlying, rural and impoverished areas)

Connecting the Church
A unique feature of the ministry of Convoy of Hope is our relationships with state and federal emergency management and response agencies. Through our relationships we seek to connect the local church to these agencies, which provide access to a greater supply of resources. This, in turn, positions the local church to be an active participant in the community’s disaster response and recovery efforts; providing new avenues of ministry for the local church.

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