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
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
How Disciples are Involved:
Local Contacts: Christian Church in the Upper Midwest, Iowa VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)
Early Response: Week of Compassion is providing assistance to and through local Disciples congregations, with solidarity grants for affected congregations and members and grants to support congregational relief efforts. Staff are in regular communication with church leaders in the area as well as ecumenical partners through the VOAD network.
Ongoing Engagement: We will continue to support the efforts of Disciples in the area and will assess possibilities for supporting long-term recovery. Read more here.
How to Help:
Volunteer: There are limited opportunities for volunteer teams to support clean-up, especially local volunteers who will not require overnight accommodation. Interested volunteers can reach out to Associate Director, Caroline Hamilton-Arnold.
Give to Week of Compassion: Designate “US Storms”
Pray: Continue to pray for those affected by the storm and for our Week of Compassion partners, especially the sizable immigrant and refugee communities affected by this storm.
Advocate: Areas of important advocacy will include support for farmers who lost crops, for refugees experiencing yet another traumatic displacement, and for folks who were already economically unstable because of the COVID-19 pandemic.