Florida Baptist Disaster Relief on ‘standby status’ as hurricane takes shape

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With projections that Tropical Storm Idalia will soon intensify to become a hurricane that could bring life-threatening impacts this week to parts of the Gulf Coast and even inland, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief leaders are on “standby status,” ready to respond when needed.

David Coggins, FLDR director, is working with other FLDR leaders and the State Emergency Operations Center to monitor the storm and its pending impact on Florida.

Expectations are that FLDR teams will move to “active status” by week’s end and begin serving in communities impacted by the storm.

‘Our volunteers are ready and prepared to bring hope to those who will be impacted by the storm. We are prepared to share the hope of the gospel of our Lord Jesus with those who don’t know Him and help to those whose faith may be challenged.’

David Coggins Director, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief

Volunteers are notifying regional DR directors of their availability and readiness to serve. All necessary equipment needed for relief efforts has been verified to be in proper working condition.

“Our state task force leaders and regional leaders have done an outstanding job of preparing our volunteers and our equipment to be ready when this storm hits. We are staged and ready when that happens.

“But most importantly, our volunteers are ready and prepared to bring hope to those who will be impacted by the storm. We are prepared to share the hope of the gospel of our Lord Jesus with those who don’t know Him and help to those whose faith may be challenged. We will see this as we always do, an open door for the gospel to be shared and hope to be offered,” Coggins said.

Currently FLDR has 4,500 credentialed volunteers.

Coggins and his team also stay in regular contact with other partners in relief efforts, including Southern Baptists’ Send Relief, American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and first responders.

All Floridians should take necessary steps to prepare for disasters, having a family plan in place, which might include evacuation routes, possible emergency shelters, and a pre-selected meeting place if family members are not together when a storm strikes, Coggins believes.

Florida’s second Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is currently underway and runs through Sept. 8. Items that are exempt during this holiday are listed on the Florida Department of Revenue website.

For updates on FLDR response, go to facebook.com/FLBaptistDR and flbaptist.org/dr-current-response

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