Disaster Relief Update
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
"The voice of the Lord is above the waters. The God of glory thunders—the Lord, above vast waters," Psalm 29:3 (HCSB).
Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana just south of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 6:45 pm CDT on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 just hours before the 7th anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Isaac, while a much weaker category 1 hurricane compared to Katrina's category 3 winds when it made landfall, is a very large storm bringing heavy rains all along the Gulf coast from Florida to Louisiana. Power outages and flooding reports began coming in to Louisiana authorities long before the 6:45 landfall. Tuesday night the eye of Isaac was moving along the Louisiana coast raking coastal communities with 80 mph winds. 220,000 were reported without power in Louisiana Tuesday night.
Photo right: This radar image shows Hurricane Isaac as it moves along the Louisiana coast Tuesday night. (image courtesy of NOAA).
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders in Florida had a kitchen and shower/laundry units on standby late Tuesday as heavy rains continued to fall on the Florida panhandle. In Alabama the Hurricane warnings were lifted Tuesday afternoon, with the heavy rains falling in a wide area Alabama DR director Mel Johnson reported his recovery volunteers are on standby to assist with mud-out once the water recedes. A group of SC Disaster Relief volunteers, trained in shelter management are assisting the American Red Cross in Alabama.
Mississippi Disaster Relief leaders reported they remain on standby to provide feeding units in support of the American Red Cross. Thirty-three shelters were open in the state Tuesday night. The MS state convention Disaster Operations center will begin operations Wednesday morning and assessors will be moving out across the state at that time. Recovery teams are on standby to meet chainsaw, temporary roofing and mud-out needs.
Gibbie McMillan, Disaster Relief director for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, reported Tuesday that he has identified locations for setting up feeding operations that may be needed in support of The American Red Cross. McMillan also has shower, laundry, and chainsaw volunteers on standby along with chaplains.
In addition to these states in the storm impact zone, Disaster Relief directors in NC, SC, GA, TN, OK, AR, STBC and TBM have placed feeding, recovery, shower/laundry and chaplain volunteers on standby in preparation of potential response in the Gulf Coast region.
SBDR representatives are now deployed to the American Red Cross Disaster Operations Center and the National Response Coordination Center in Washington, DC. These representatives provide a critical onsite connection with our national partners as we work together to respond to the needs of people and communities along the Gulf Coast. In addition, convention Disaster Relief leaders in FL, AL, MS and LA are working closely with their State Emergency Management leadership as they make plans and deploy resources.
Two eighteen wheelers loaded with plastic roof sheeting to provide temporary protection to damaged homes will be leaving Alpharetta, GA Wednesday morning enroute to Mississippi and Louisiana.
Photo left: Beth Bootz, North American Mission Board Disaster Relief Team, ties up a load of furring strips as the NAMB DR staff load two eighteen wheelers with temporary roofing plastic and supplies. (photo by Judy Cape)
Pray for the people living in the area as they cope with the power outages, winds, rain and memories of Katrina. Pray for SBDR leaders as they make decisions about ministry opportunities, and pray for SBDR volunteers many of whom will return to the gulf coast for the first time since they were there in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Pray that the ministry of Southern Baptists over the next days and weeks will reflect the God of glory who "thunders above vast waters," and help people hear "the voice of the Lord who is above the waters."
La.-bound Isaac puts Baptist DR on standby
Florida Baptist Disaster Relief eyes Hurricane Isaac on its race to NOLA
As Hurricane Isaac approaches, TBM stands ready to offer disaster relief
Huntsville mobilizes to help those affected by Isaac
SC teams prepare to aid Isaac's victims
Teams from Arkansas, Kansas-Nebraska, Missouri, Southern Baptists of Texas and Texas Baptist Men, along with numerous Oklahoma recovery teams are completing fire cleanup ministry in Mannford and Noble, OK. Sam Porter, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Disaster Relief director reported that the work in Noble was shut down earlier this week and operations in Mannford will be completed by the end of the week.
Photo right: Wes Todd (SBTC) is shown here with one of several crosses he carved during his teams' ministry in Noble, OK. (photo by Beth Bootz)
As chainsaw teams often do, chainsaw teams working in Noble, OK were carving crosses into tree stumps and leaving them in some yards last week. A team from SBTC, including Wes Todd, was working in Noble, OK when a resident came into the command center asking if they could "have one of those crosses" in their yard. This mother and her two sons had all three made professions of faith while a team worked on their property and now they wanted a cross as a visible sign of their faith. The answer was a resounding yes.
Ponderosa Fire - CA
California Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief director, Don Hargis has placed heavy equipment operators, chainsaw operators, chaplains, administrative assistants, people with first aid certification, cooks, mass feeding volunteers, and clean-up team members on standby as they make preparation to begin fire recovery work in the Redding, CA area following the Ponderosa Fire.
Waldo Canyon Fire - CO
Chainsaw, feeding and medical volunteers from Utah/Idaho and a chainsaw team from Kansas/Nebraska are working at the Eagle Lake Camp in the Pike National Forest outside Colorado Springs, CO. When these teams have completed their ministry at the end of this week the fire cleanup operation at the camp will close.
Trinity Ridge Fire - ID
A Utah/Idaho shower unit is still ministering to firefighting personnel in Pine, UT.
The 2012 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Award Recipients
Robert E. Dixon Lifetime Service
Chuck Erickson (CA)
Joel W. Phillips Outstanding Achievement
James Carson (LA)
Elaine Koch (KY)
Distinguished Service (in 2011)
Ronnie Warren (AL)
Lew Cook (KY)
Bob and Judi Cook (CA)
Learn more about the Disaster Relief Awards see photos of all of the 2012 award recipients.
| Photo above (left to right) Alabama State Board of Missions Disaster Relief director Mel Johnson with 2012 Distinguished Service Award recipient Ronnie Warren of Alabama.
|| Photo above (left to right): 2012 Distinguished Service Award recipients Bob and Judi Cook of California with California Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief director Don Hargis.
| Photo above (left to right): Kentucky Baptist Convention Disaster Relief director Coy Webb, 2012 Distinguished Service Award recipient Lew Cook of Kentucky and Mickey Caison North American Mission Board Disaster Relief Team Leader.
The following is a list of trainings scheduled over the next three months that we have received information from convention DR leaders. Check your convention's website if you do not see a training listed here.
Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention Disaster Relief
October 6 St. Paul, MN
October 18-20 Sparta, WI
Reistration and information for St. Paul Training
Registration and information for Sparta, WI Training
State Convention of Baptists in Ohio Disaster Relief
Disaster Relief Training for all ministries except Chaplaincy
November 16-17, 2012 - Liberty Township, Ohio
Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief
Regional Training Events
September 15, 2012 (N. Eastern Region)
October 13, 2012 (Central Region)
November 17, 2012 (S. Eastern Region)
For more information, go to www.tndisasterrelief.org – t raining opportunities.