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Government to include churches in Disaster Preparation

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – Guusje ter Horst, the minister of Internal Affairs, who is also responsible for policing and disaster coordination, wants to meet ‘the churches’ and other faith communities to discuss their possible role in the aftercare of future disasters. Her objective is to better help those who are affected by disasters, having observed the spontaneous volunteer efforts by churches notably in the aftermath of the deadly attempt on the lives of the royal family in Apeldoorn on April 30 last year. The attack with a speeding car by a single perpetrator that claimed the lives of a number of people and injured several others, was witnessed by a crowd on site and by numerous viewers on television. The churches in Apeldoorn opened their doors within hours for special services to aid the process of grieving of horrified onlookers and others who felt affected by the carnage. A number of years ago, a similar effort took place in Volendam after the disastrous New Year’s Eve fire in a crowded dance hall. Many municipalities already include churches in the preparation of handbooks dealing with potential disasters. Internal Affairs also acknowledges the positive contribution of churches in the struggle against polarization and radicalization in society.