Domestic Disaster Response & Preparedness
Photo: Craig Thompson, Disciple Design
Hurricanes Sally & Zeta (2020) - Alabama
West Coast Fires (2020) - California & Oregon
Hurricanes Laura & Delta (2020) - Louisiana *
Tornadoes (2019) - Ohio* VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Hurricane Florence (2018) - North Carolina*
Carr Fire and Camp Fire (2018) - California
Hurricanes Irma & Maria (2017) - Puerto Rico
Hurricane Irma (2017) - Florida
Hurricane Harvey (2017) - Texas
Week of Compassion is in conversation with local churches and partners in areas where disasters are ongoing or have recently occurred. As needs are emerging, we are assessing potential for response.
Tornado Outbreak (Dec 2021) * - Kentucky
Hurricane Ida (2021) - Louisiana, Gulf Coast, East Coast
From late December 2019 through January 2020, the southwest part of Puerto Rico experienced a series of earthquakes of varying strength and severity. Among the most damaging were a 4.7 quake on Dec. 28, a 6.4 shock on Jan. 7, and a 5.2 quake on Jan. 15, with many, smaller tremors between. The quakes damaged hundreds of structures, including several schools, and thousands of people evacuated their homes, uncertain of the safety of the buildings (roughly 6,000 individuals were in official and unofficial shelters/encampments as of Jan 21). The tremors damaged a power plant and portions of the electrical grid, causing power outages--some prolonged--across much of the island. Given the continued aftershocks and the recent trauma of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health are of great concern.
Read more about Disciples involvement.
HOW DISCIPLES ARE INVOLVED
Local Contacts: Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico, especially local congregations in Ponce and Guayanilla; Puerto Rico VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster); Brethren Disaster Ministries/Children's Disaster Services
Early Response: Disciples in Puerto Rico coordinated collection and distribution of needed supplies through the Centro Cristiano, meeting needs identified at the local congregations in Ponce and Guayanilla. The church in Ponce regularly fed several hundred individuals, including evacuees and responders. They have also been attending to physical and mental, emotional, and spiritual health of their neighbors. The church in Guayanilla provided shelter for more than 3 dozen evacuees. Disciples have coordinated with mental health professionals and chaplains to provide immediate care for those traumatized by the quakes. We are in conversation with local Disciples and our partners at Children's Disaster Services about how to support children who are out of school because of damage to school buildings.
Ongoing Engagement: We will continue to support the efforts of Disciples in Puerto Rico, including providing training for pastors to recognize and help address psychological and emotional responses to trauma. We are also in conversation with partners through PR VOAD about addressing long-term needs.