Florida Baptist Disaster Relief scales back but remains alert

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Florida Baptist Disaster Relief has stepped back into alert status as Hurricane Dorian moves away from Florida and north through the Atlantic.

We have moved back to just an alert status,” said Delton Beall, FBDR director. “We were favored in that the storm did not have a significant impact in Florida.” However, he added, FBDR is remaining alert should neighboring states need assistance as Dorian makes contact.

Dorian hit the Carolinas with flooding, heavy winds and tornadoes and even though the eye has remained offshore, it could make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday.

Beall expressed his gratitude to all FBDR volunteers for their willingness and readiness to serve. “They really were ready to go at a moment’s notice and we are grateful for that,” he said.

Volunteers flooded the FBDR Facebook page with comments and messages expressing their eagerness to go serve those who might need it in Dorian’s wake.

While it was not necessary for FBDR to respond to storm damage in Florida, lessons were learned.

“Every response always sharpens our skill,” said Beall. “We are always asking, what can we do better?”

In this case, the predictability of unpredictability was the main take away. At one point were 15 FBDR kitchens were on standby, a number that decreased to about five and fluctuated as the storm progressed and changed directions.

Being ready for the unpredictable is one of the skills that makes FBDR efficient and effective in responding, he explained.

In response to the catastrophic damage reported in the Bahamas, FBDR is partnering with Southern Baptists’ relief arm, Baptist Global Response (BGR), as they put an assessment team together. Beall encouraged Florida Baptists to donate to BGR to aid their relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas.

“This is going to be a long road to recovery and a lot of help will be needed.”

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