As Hurricane Dorian hovers along the east coast of Florida, battering the region with tropical storm-force winds and dangerous storm surges, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief and Recovery (FBDR) stands ready with a multifaceted arsenal to respond in its immediate aftermath.
“We are still watching, waiting and praying as we track the uncertainty of Hurricane Dorian,” said Tommy Green executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention. “Your Florida Baptist disaster relief teams continue to be in a position of readiness.”
Noting the catastrophic damage reported in the Bahamas, Green said, “Florida Baptists are already providing resources for the recovery response there. The Southern Baptist Convention will lead through Baptist Global Response and we are coordinating with them.
“Additionally, we have many connections through Florida Baptist pastors and churches in the Bahamas,” Green said. These includes Randy Crowe, a former Florida Baptist pastor, who has served in the Bahamas for the past decade.
“He will be flying supplies into the Bahamas as quickly as possible. We have provided funds for him to purchase supplies for the relief effort to the islands.
According to Delton Beall, FBDR director, 10 churches along Florida’s east coast have been identified as potential feeding and recovery sites. Two mobile feeding units are on standby at Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg.
Also, Southern Baptists from across the country are prepared to serve their neighbors, said Beall. SBC Disaster Relief teams from seven states including Missouri, Texas and Kentucky are positioning outside of Florida to be ready for the impact of the hurricane.
With Florida being all too familiar with natural disasters like Dorian, the FBDR has dedicated much of their time to marshalling resources while mobilizing trained volunteers.
These include more than 5,000 trained volunteers on standby, two mobile feeding units that jointly can produce over 32,000 hot meals a day, mobile shower units, command units, 75 clean up and recovery teams, and various pieces of equipment such as skid steers, tractors, trailers and bucket trucks.
FBDR volunteers are trained in highly specialized roles. These include:
–Feeding – Meet the physical and spiritual needs of those impacted by a disaster through preparing up to 32,000 meals per day.
–Clean Up and Recovery – Provide hope to others while engaging in temporary roofing, chainsaw crews, yard clean up and flood recovery.
–Emergency Response Team – Provide safety/security to responding volunteers and local communities while onsite.
–Temporary Child Care – Care for children in the aftermath of a disaster.
–Emotional and Spiritual Care – Comfort and encourage all who are affected by a disaster.
–Administrative Support – Provide clerical support by compiling reports, tracking volunteers and job information, while offering compassion to those in need.
–Logistical Support – Move equipment and supplies, before, during, and after and maintenance of the equipment.
FBDR is just one of the many ways the Florida Baptist Convention is committed to being right beside every Florida Baptist pastor and church in the FBC.
To stay up to date with the latest news on Hurricane Dorian or how you can help, please follow the Florida Baptist Convention and the Florida Baptist Disaster Relief Ministries on social media.