Ohio Disaster Relief

Welcome to Ohio Disaster Relief! When disaster strikes, Ohio Disaster Relief has trained to be some of the first on the scene to bring Help, Hope and Healing. Each aide organization does things a little differently. We train to bring a skillset that's more than just showing up and lending a hand. Our units are described below.

If you are looking to experience, first-hand what it means to help people who have been through some of the toughest times in their lives, then Ohio Disaster Relief is for you. Please review the website and if you still have questions, feel free to email, call or text me, John Heading Ohio Disaster Relief Coordinator at jheading@scbo.org or 614-309-9751. When you are ready, register and get trained. 


Ohio Distater Relief has been working with First Baptist Church in Gdansk, Poland to minister to refugees. Work has included lots of renovation on local apartments for refugees and working with children through bible storying and teaching English.

Due to the change in local circumstances in Gdansk, we are no longer needed to help the church. We are currently investigating working with a church in Latvia doing the same type of ministry. OH DIsaster Relief is very gratelful for the volunteers and churches who have made this international deployment possible. Many came together to purchase an electric pallet kjack for a church on the Ukrainian border and a 9 passenger van for FBC Gdansk for ministry and refugee work.  

To learn more check out the document at the very bottom of this page that contains all the deployment details and then contact Scott Klepinger at sklepinger@woh.rr.com to ask questions or to express interest.   

To support Ohio Disaster Relief teams both internationally and domestically, PLEASE DONATE HERE.



Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) exists to bring Help, Hope and Healing to those in need. SBDR traces its beginnings to the actions of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1966. In 1967, in response to Hurricane Beulah, Texas Baptist Men and a boys organization called Royal Embassadors, responded to meet needs. To this day, SBDR credits it's royal blue and gold trademark colors to Royal Ambassadors. 

SBDR works together and in partnershup with many agencies. FEMA, VOAD, American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Send Relief are just a few of the ongoing partnerships. However, Send Relief is our primary ministry partner in responding to crisis. Send Relief is Southern Baptists' compassion ministry that focuses on five areas: strengthen communitites, care for refugees, protect children and families, fight human trafficking, and respond to crisis. To learn more about Send Relief, CHECK THEM OUT HERE.

The Ohio SBDR responds to disasters and needs in Ohio, North America, and around the world. This ministry was launched in Ohio in January, 1986 with the establishment of the Food Service Unit. It has since grown to include many more responce teams which you can read about below. Our teams are made up of specifically trained volunteers who give of their time and talents to serve Christ in a crisis. 

To be actively involved on a responce team or two, you will need to complete the online training and then train in-person with your designated team. We ask that trainee candidates be either a member of or an active participant with a Southern Baptist church in Ohio. Funding for this volunteer-based ministry comes primarily from Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program, the Ray Roberts State Missions Offering and by donations from compassionate individuals and organizations who desire to partner with Ohio DIsaster Relief.

If you are interested in joining the Disaster Relief Volunteer Team, please contact us: 

John Heading, Coordinator:  jheading@scbo.org or (614) 309-9751

Our chaplains are trained to minister to the disaster victims as well as minister to our Disaster Reliev volunteers by providing a listening ear and sharing comfort.  Training is offered once a year and takes about a full year to complete all activities required to be endorsed by the North American Mission Board.  A person cannot serve as a chaplain unless they are endorsed by NAMB.

Additional training required includes at least one of the disaster units and completing Operational Stress First Aid (OSFA), which is offered along with the Chaplaincy Training course.  Individuals also are required to make application with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), complete all requirements for Endorsement.  After you receive your endorsement from the Chaplaincy Commission, you would be permitted to serve as a Chaplain.

Volunteers cut downed trees from homes and buildings and stack logs in a location designated by the property owner.  Also, pull brush and stack accordingly.  This usually occurs following tornadoes, ice storms and even hurricanes. 

Safety is of utmost and all volunteers will wear the safety attire and use the saw equipment provided. Volunteers must be members of a Southern Baptist Church in Ohio and 18 years of age.

We currently have over 300 volunteers trained in this ministry, and there is still room for more!

The mission of the MudOut Ministry is to demonstrate the love of Christ by helping people recover from flooding in their homes.
This involves removing damaged belongings from the home, removing carpeting, wallboard & trim, pressure washing, and mold remediation. Tools and safety equipment are provided.

For volunteers, a strong back is a plus, but a compassionate heart is a must. MudOut has ministered to people who have lost EVERYTHING. Our joy is to show them a Savior who was willing to get dirty for US.


The Feeding Unit fulfills two main functions: the first is to feed our Ohio teams while they are deployed and the other is a mass feeding of the community in an affected area. Feeding our Ohio units is rough 95% of the time spent as a member of the feeding team. Every unit that deploys needs to be fed. Teams typically stay in churches so you would use the church kitchen to feed approximately 6-20 people for aweek at a time. For this type of feeding, you would prepare a hot lunch and dinner. Lunch is typically a sack lunch prepared by the team members themselves before they leave the church for their worksite. 

Volunteers feeding in a mass community feeding setup, prepare hot meals using a field kitchen to line feed (much like cafeteria style feeding in an open parking lot or field), prepare containers for use in Red Cross or Salvation Army vehicles for serving, inventory food, clean up area, wash cooking utensils and pots, move full cases of food from storage to the kitchen for use, unload truck and load truck, set up field kitchen and take down field kitchen.

The day usually begins around 5 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m. Normally, we prepare lunch and supper each day, with lunch being ready to serve at 10 a.m. and supper ready around 3 p.m. The clean up at the end of the day requires 2 - 3 hours of team effort.

Our Ohio field kitchen has not been deployed in a long time. Typically Ohio is asked to send feeding volunteers to rotate in a kitchen already setup and who are in need of more volunteers. This will be more likely rather than deploying our mobile feeding unit.

Volunteers care for children ages birth to 2nd grade while parents recover from the disaster by working with the relief agencies, insurance, FEMA and sometimes even going to work. We have the equipment separated into age groups for ease in use. Duties include unloading and loading equipment from the trailer into a safe and secure building location, sanitize location, sanitize toys after use, provide loving care for the children and sympathy for the parents. Prepare meals for children and team volunteers.

The Communications Team is responsible for establishing and maintaining wireless radio communications between aid workers and agencies. Following a disaster traditional communication methods such as telephone, TV, and internet are often unavailable for days or even weeks. This makes the communications teams invaluable additions to any disaster response.

This area of ministry volunteers maintain the shower trailer unit in working condition, clean showers after use, launder towels and wash clothes, and also launder volunteer clothing as needed.

A normal day consists of cleaning the unit thoroughly and doing laundry during the day while volunteers are out in the community ministering to the disaster victims. Then, in the evening, the staff will account for users via a standard log and provide necessary shower items (soap, towel, wash cloth, shampoo), and wipe down the shower after each use. Users of the unit are normally our Disaster Relief Volunteers. There may be occasion for disaster victims to also utilize these facilities, however this is out of the norm. 

Ohio Disaster Relief Videos to show your church.

Both videos for Disaster Relief Appreciation Sunday. The first (1:03) is appreciation to all DR from NAMB and the second (1:53) is similar with some Ohio pics included. 

Recent Disaster Relief Responses

Resource Group: 
Missions (MSM)