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Disaster Preparedness & Response

Mission Statement

Hearing God’s call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being, the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania will guide our diocesan community in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Vision Statement

Guided by the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s people in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania will: Shepherd our churches and parishioners in their journey to become better prepared to overcome the impact of disasters. Become partners with the whole community to help those whose world has been turned upside down by disasters to journey back to a world that is right side up.

Diocesan Emergency Disaster Coordinator

Bishop Scanlan has appointed Mr. Edward A. Robertson of St. Andrew’s in the Valley as the Emergency Disaster Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.

Mr. Robertson has worked as the Director of Emergency Social Services for the Red Cross in the Susquehanna Valley and as an Emergency Management Trainer and Disaster Services Government Liaison. His appointment to this position will call for him to interact with the Episcopal Relief and Development organization and to collaborate with colleagues across our General Church. To contact Ed via email, click here.


Ed Robertson was appointed Diocesan Disaster Coordinator by Bishop Scanlan in the fall of 2015.

Ed is a member of St. Andrew’s in the Valley, Harrisburg, where he serves on the Vestry and on the Finance and Communications Committees.  He is a Lector and occasionally is asked to deliver a sermon.

Ed brings over fifty years of disaster preparedness, response and recovery experience with the Red Cross and FEMA to the diocese.  His most recent major one-year assignment was as Red Cross liaison to FEMA and NJ State Agencies providing long term recovery to Super Storm Sandy survivors.  He currently represents Red Cross and the PA VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) at the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center when it is activated for significant disaster events in Pennsylvania.

Other highlights of Ed’s long career include Red Cross Night Operations Director in New York after 9/11, Red Cross Relief Operations Director for the Northeast US providing assistance to almost 10,000 families evacuated from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and administrative leadership positions on over thirty national disasters since 1984.

Ed was recognized by the American Red Cross with the ‘Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership’ (1997) and with ‘Special Achievement Award for Going Above and Beyond’ (2007).  In 2014, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency recognized Ed ‘For Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’.

Ed and his wife Betty live in Susquehanna Township and  have, between them, four children, nineteen great-grandchildren and one great, great – grandchild.

Disaster Program and Planning Tools

Recruiting for Convocation Disaster Coordinators

Do you have experience in emergency management (Fire, police, EMS, CERT)?  If not, are you willing to take some free online training? The next step in building our Disaster Program in Central Pennsylvania is to build a Disaster Committee with representatives from each convocation.  In addition to participating in the Disaster Committee (generally conference call meetings), Convocation Disaster Coordinators will assist in recruiting parish coordinators, coordinate convocation preparedness, response and recovery programs and assist parish coordinators to develop their local disaster and continuity of operations plans.

Parish Disaster Planning Tools from Episcopal Relief and Development

Episcopal Relief and Development has developed Preparedness Planning Guides for Congregations and Parishes.

The Silver Level version includes necessary basic information to protect parishioners and church property in time of disaster, and also lays the foundation for congregations interested in responding to their most vulnerable neighbors.

A Bronze Level version that gathers the most basic information needed in times of disaster is available for smaller parishes.


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