Domestic Disaster Response & Preparedness
Photo: Craig Thompson, Disciple Design
Hurricanes Sally and Zeta, Alabama
West Coast Fires (2020)
Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Louisiana*
Tropical Storm Imelda, Texas
Tornadoes, Ohio* Hurricane Michael, Florida
Hurricane Florence, North Carolina*
Carr Fire and Camp Fire, California
Hurricanes Irma & Maria, Puerto Rico
Hurricane Irma, Florida
Hurricane Harvey, Texas
*limited volunteer opportunities available, with COVID-19 precautions
Week of Compassion is in conversation with local churches and partners in these areas where disasters are ongoing or have recently occurred. As needs are emerging, we are assessing potential avenues for response.
Kentucky and Tennessee Flooding
Winter Storm (Feb. 2021)
Event Summary: On August 29, Hurricane Ida made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in southeastern Louisiana, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands (some for weeks) and causing damage to thousands of homes. Several dozen Disciples households and churches were among those who sustained damage. The storms continued to bring wind and heavy rain to multiple states as it tracked inland. The remnants of the storm dropped historic amounts of rain, especially, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, where Disciples congregations and members were again among those affected. Federal Disaster Declarations: 4611-DR-LA, 4614-DR-NJ, 4615-DR-NY, 4618-DR-PA.
How Disciples are Involved:
Local Contacts: Local congregations, State VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)
Early Response: Week of Compassion provided assistance to and through local Disciples congregations, with solidarity grants for affected congregations and members and grants to support congregational relief efforts. Relief efforts included distribution of food, water, and essential supplies and the offering of church buildings as volunteer housing spaces. Week of Compassion staff also worked to connect local church leaders with resources and assistance information.
Ongoing Engagement: We will continue to support the efforts of Disciples in the area and make recovery grants available to local recovery organizations. Additionally, we are in conversation with ecumenical partners about emerging needs. Week of Compassion continues to build partnerships and assess opportunities to assist with long-term recovery.
How to Help:
Volunteer: Stay tuned for details about future volunteer opportunities. Interested local volunteers can reach out to Associate Director, Caroline Hamilton-Arnold.
Give to Week of Compassion: Designate “Hurricanes”
Pray: Continue to pray for those affected by the hurricane and for our Week of Compassion partners.
Advocate: Areas of important advocacy will include support for folks who were already economically unstable because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated March 9, 2021
Event Summary: In mid-February, 2021, a significant winter storm brought historic low temperatures to much of the U.S. and Canada. Impacts were especially consequential in Texas, where counties across the state experienced prolonged power outages, water system failures, and damage due to frozen pipes. Dozens of Disciples congregations sustained damage to their church buildings or at their members' homes. FEMA Disaster Declarations -- DR4586-TX, DR4587-OK, DR4590-LA
Event Summary: After stalling off the coast of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, Hurricane Sally underwent a period of rapid intensification before making category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, AL very early on Sept. 16. The very slow-moving storm battered coastal communities in Alabama and the panhandle of Florida for hours. More than half a million customers were without power as of Sept. 17, even as the storm continued moving across Georgia and South Carolina. Thousands of homes have been damaged from flooding and trees toppled by the winds. Several Disciples congregations in have been directly affected, including damage at church buildings. Federal disaster declarations: DR-4563-AL and DR-4564-FL
Six weeks later, Hurricane Zeta made landfall as a category 3 hurricane made landfall in eastern Louisiana before tracking across Alabama, bringing significant rain to areas affected by Hurricane Sally.
Event Summary: Hurricane Laura made landfall as a strong category 4 hurricane in Southwest Louisiana (about 35 miles from the Louisiana/Texas border) very early on August 27. The storm maintained hurricane strength as it moved inland through Louisiana. Roughly half a million customers were without power after the storm, with more than 60,000 still without power two weeks later. Thousands of homes sustained damage from the winds and rain. Several Disciples congregations in Southeast and central Louisiana were directly affected, including damage at church buildings and at members' homes. Federal disaster declaration: DR-4559-LA
Late on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 Hurricane Delta made landfall as a Category 2 storm less than 20 miles from where Hurricane Laura made landfall just 6 weeks prior. Delta tore tarps off the roofs of thousands of homes, which had been damaged from hurricane Laura, and knocked out power for more than 700,000 residents. The storm also caused significant flooding across many parts of the state. Many households affected by Delta were already economically strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and the costs of evacuation and repairs from Hurricane Laura. Federal disaster declaration: DR-4570-LA
Event Summary: On August 10, a 40 mile wide derecho blew across the upper Midwest; the effects were especially devastating across a large portion of Iowa. During the powerful straight-line windstorm, the winds at times exceeded 100 miles per hour. An estimated 10 million acres of corn and soybean crops were destroyed or heavily damaged. Barns, silos, grain bins, and houses were crushed across many counties. At one point over 400,0000 people were without electric power, and restoration in some areas was expected to take weeks. Among the hardest hit communities, were refugees in Cedar Rapids. At least 10 Disciples congregations were directly affected, with damage to their church buildings, among their members' homes, or both. Federal disaster declaration: DR-4557-IA
Event Summary: An incredibly active wildfire season across the western U.S. has included fires of historic size and severity, especially in California and Oregon. In addition to burning millions of acres and thousands of homes, these fires have created hazardous air quality across the region and into western Canada. More than 100 Disciples households across multiple states have had to evacuate, and several households have confirmed damage to their homes.
Federal disaster declarations: California-- DR-4558-CA; Oregon-- DR-4562-OR
Event Summary: Overnight between March 2 and 3, a series of tornadoes moved through Nashville and communities to the east. 25 people died in the storms, and several hundred people were injured. As of March 10, several hundred homes were confirmed damaged or destroyed, and damage assessments continue. Federal disaster declaration: DR-4476-TN
Another outbreak on April 12 and 13 caused extensive damage in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas. Response was complicated by restrictions due to COVID-19. Federal disaster declaration: DR-4541-TN