Oklahoma tornado impacts IGRC training event


SPRINGFIELD – Participants in a May 22 Spiritual and Emotional Care training got a first-hand glimpse at the Oklahoma tornado from their trainer.

Rev. Mary Hughes Gaudreau, a consultant with United Methodist Committee on Relief's Emergency Services office, lives in Oklahoma and due to the tornado, was unable to catch her flight out of Oklahoma City to be present for the May 22-23 training. In cooperation with IGRC Communications, Gaudreau conducted the basic training via the conference’s Adobe Connect web conferencing system. The leader’s training for May 23 was postponed.
“There’s nothing like face-to-face training, but we must go on,” Gaudreau told the participants at the outset. At several points during the training, the emotional strain of the week’s events combined with the subject matter was apparent.
Participants were able to see first-hand the value of the work of the spiritual and emotional care team which works as part of a conference’s disaster response team.
Only three conferences in the North Central Jurisdiction – Wisconsin, West Ohio and Illinois Great Rivers – that have badged disaster response personnel specifically trained in spiritual and emotional support.