The Area Seventies are responsible for instructing stake presidents in welfare matters, including stake and ward emergency planning (see Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 5.1.3, 5.2.11). Area Seventies, who are under the direction of the Presidency of the Seventy and who act as chairmen of coordinating councils, may be assigned to coordinate multistake emergency planning, including preparations and response.

This framework is designed to help area, coordinating council, and stake leaders prepare for and respond to emergencies. Small-scale emergencies will often be addressed in wards and stakes. Large-scale emergencies may require action at the coordinating council level. In rare circumstances, an event may involve more than one coordinating council, and a member of the Presidency of the Seventy will assign an Area Seventy to direct the Church’s response.


The Area Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide is designed to help coordinating councils prepare for and respond to emergencies affecting multiple stakes. The framework is organized into the following four categories:

1. Preparation: Prepare in advance to lessen the impact of disasters and improve response and recovery efforts.

2. Response: Address the short-term, direct effects of a disaster.

3. Recovery: Help address the long-term needs in the community.

4. Mitigation: Reduce or eliminate future risks from similar incidents by reviewing lessons learned.

In an Emergency

When disasters or emergencies occur in one or more stakes of a coordinating council, the Area Seventy communicates with the assigned member of the Presidency of the Seventy and coordinates the Church’s response under his direction. The Area Seventy receives assessments from the stakes of damage sustained and resources needed, coordinates the response efforts, and reports to a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. Coordination of response efforts may include providing resources from the Church’s Welfare, Meetinghouse Facilities, and Public Affairs Departments as well as resources available in the greater community. The seven Presidents of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric approve all emergency response expenditures.


Essential contact information will be kept current and distributed by the Area Seventy with the assistance of the area welfare manager at Church headquarters. Local government and community information can be kept current by the Area Seventy’s executive secretary and an assigned VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) representative. The framework and associated resource information can be modified to meet location-specific needs and circumstances.