Domestic Disaster Response & Preparedness
Photo: Craig Thompson, Disciple Design
Earthquakes, Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Imelda, Texas
Hurricane Dorian, Bahamas and Atlantic Coast
Flooding, Oklahoma and Midwest US
Hurricane Michael, Florida
Hurricane Florence, North Carolina
Carr Fire and Camp Fire, California
Hurricanes Irma & Maria, Puerto Rico
Hurricane Irma, Florida
Hurricane Harvey, Texas
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
How Disciples are Involved:
Local Contacts: Great River Region Disciples, Louisiana 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. Disciples in New Orleans have helped provided supplies for evacuees, and Disciples from New Orleans and Baton Rouge have provided clean-up assistance in cooperation with Disciples congregations in southeast Louisiana.
Ongoing Engagement: We will continue to support the efforts of Disciples in the area and will assess possibilities for supporting long-term recovery.
How to Help:
Volunteer: In the early days of response, logistics are not in place and housing is not available for volunteers who are not local; in the coming months, volunteers will be needed for rebuilding. 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 the largely rural areas affected by the hurricane and for folks who were already economically unstable because of the COVID-19 pandemic.