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: 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
How Disciples are Involved:
Local Contacts: Great River Region Disciples, Louisiana VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders
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: Week of Compassion is partnering with Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders to coordinate volunteers for repair of homes damaged by hurricanes. We will also continue to support the efforts of Disciples in the area and rebuild efforts throughout long-term recovery.
How to Help:
Volunteer: Volunteers are needed for repair and rebuild efforts in collaboration with local Disciples congregations and our local construction partner, Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders. Interested volunteers should fill out a volunteer interest form.
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.