The first Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers will be heading to North Carolina on September 18 to assist with recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
“We are grateful for the partnership with other State Conventions in Disaster Relief,” said Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention. “Our prayers are for those impacted by Hurricane Florence. We are thankful for Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers who are responding in this critical time of need.”
“We are looking forward to sending volunteers to North Carolina and helping our sister convention,” said Delton Beall, state director of Florida Baptist Disaster Relief.
Florida Baptist Disaster Relief has been asked to send a task force to North Carolina but call-outs for other volunteer teams are also going out. The location where the teams will be staged has not yet been determined and the extent of the needs on the ground are not yet known. Severe flooding is now the biggest threat, according to a situation report by Beall, as rain and wind from Florence continue to impact North and South Carolina. Beall expects FBDR to be on the ground for three to four weeks.
“Right now we’re not collecting tangible supplies,” he added. “We don’t yet know what the needs are exactly.”
He encourages those with a desire to help to give financially here.
A financial gift is currently preferable to a tangible donation because “[p]recisely what is needed, when it is needed may be purchased to support operations during response and recovery as well as eliminate problems of outdated and un-needed items,” wrote Shane McGivney, Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief director, in a Facebook post also shared by Beall.
McGivney also points out that “[h]andling, storing, documenting, and transporting financial contributions is easier and utilize fewer resources than in-kind donations.” Many times, after a disaster response “there are truckloads of materials that were completely unusable that must be distributed or rehoused. This takes valuable time, effort, and manpower away from assisting those in need.”
Also, “[p]urchasing products in a disaster-impacted area helps rebuild the local economy. Getting the wheels of the economy moving in a disaster area is a key component in the recovery process.” He also added that relief organizations –like FBDR– can get more for their money by leveraging pre-established relationships and making bulk purchases.
Another way to help is to contact your regional FBDR leader and sign up for the next training session in your area so that you can be ready to assist during the next emergency. Regional contacts can also be found here.
“The strength of DR is in the ability to multiply our efforts to help our sister conventions,” said Beall.
By Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, September 17, 2018