UCC Disaster Ministries has established a 2018 Hurricanes fund as it prepares to respond to several ferocious storms: Florence, Mangkhut, Michael and others. It is monitoring the storms' aftermath and resulting needs through ongoing communication with FEMA, National VOAD, partners, UCC Conferences and Conference Disaster Coordinators. We will share information on this page as it becomes available.
As the toll continues to rise from the Sept. 28 earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, UCC Disaster Ministries is supporting ecumenical emergency response already on the ground in ravaged Palu city. The ministry has released $23,000 to two partners that are currently supplying clean water, tarps, blankets and mattresses, food, medicine, clothing and other daily needs.
"Miss Evelyn" was among the tens of thousands of people in the U.S. Virgin Islands whose lives were upended when Hurricanes Irma and Maria roared across the Caribbean a year ago. Now she's among homeowners in line for a new roof and other repairs, thanks to the support and work of UCC Disaster Ministries. Volunteer work teams, financial support are needed to help her and her neighbors recover.
While disaster preparedness is important all the year round, it gets special emphasis in September - National Preparedness Month. Accordingly, UCC Disaster Ministries supported several preparedness events during the past month.
It's one year after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria struck, and survivors continue to struggle to recover. Today, floodwaters continue to rise in the Carolinas 10 days after Hurricane Florence made landfall. Against this backdrop, UCC Disaster Ministries Executive Zach Wolgemuth reflects on the commitment to long-term recovery. "I have faith that God, working through us, can create something new," he writes. "Why? Because I’ve seen it."
It's been a year since Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico. UCC Disaster Ministries has accompanied the survivors from day one, investing nearly $500,000 funding, and another $250,000 in hurricane-damaged Florida and U.S. Virgin Islands. This does not count in-kind contributions, sharing of recovery expertise and work teams volunteering to rebuild homes. Read the UCC News Story about the UCC's nearly $500 million support for Puerto Rico's recovery.
Hurricane Florence roared ashore in the U.S. Carolinas September 14, 2018, then lingered over the region, causing catastrophic flooding, including prolonged significant river flooding, to the Carolina coast and inland. More than 40 people in the Carolinas and Virginia were killed. The environmental impacts of the storm's damage are vast, and current estimates of losses range from $38 to $50 billion.
At least 134 people are dead - including eight rescuers and one other member of the United Church of Christ Philippines - with more injured or missing and feared buried in a landslide in the Philippines due to Typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong). UCC Disaster Ministries is contributing an initial $12,000 for the United Church of Christ Philippines' response to the needs of families and communities in Luzon impacted by the typhoon.
As an extremely dangerous Hurricane Florence churns its way toward the east coast of the United States, UCC Disaster Ministries is monitoring the situation through established networks and stands ready to support Church partners, Conferences and Congregations in Florence's path. Florence is putting millions of people at risk and threaten billions of dollars in property damage.
With Puerto Rico still struggling to recover one year following Hurricane Maria, UCC Disaster Ministries is actively supporting our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and calls on churches "to continue to pray and give financially for what will be a long road ahead," says Zach Wolgemuth, the program's executive.