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: 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.
How Disciples are Involved:
Local Contacts: Alabama/Northwest Florida Region Disciples, Local Long-Term Recovery Groups
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.
Ongoing Engagement: We will continue to support the efforts of Disciples in the area and make recovery grants available to local recovery organizations. Additionally, our partners at Church World Service have deployed the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative to support Long-Term Recovery Group Development in Southwest Alabama. 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.