Hurricane Dorian has left at least 50 dead, 2,500 reported missing and 13,000 homes severely damaged or destroyed on the Bahamas' Abaco and Grand Bahama islands - nearly 40 percent of all homes on the two islands. These numbers only begin to hint at the pain Dorian caused at the beginning of September. UCC Disaster Ministries is supporting assessment and long-term recovery planning.
$15,000 from UCC Disaster Ministries will fund 12 months of resiliency training for an entire village in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, which a year ago (September 28, 2018) suffered a massively destructive earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people and displaced tens of thousands. The goal is to build communities with independent ability to avoid danger, adapt to disaster risks and recover quickly.
National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. The 2019 theme is "Prepared, Not Scared." Visit ready.gov/september for an abundance of resources useful for promoting preparedness all year long. And don't forget UCC Disaster Ministries' Disaster Preparedness Manual for Churches.
In this commentary for National Preparedness Month, UCC Disaster Ministries Executive Zach Wolgemuth explored how the plethora of disasters that we've already experienced in 2019 is yet another wake-up call for all of us to have a preparedness plan and kit in place.
There's a lot you can do right now!
UCC Disaster Ministries is supporting an ecumenical Rapid Assessment Team to the Bahamas with funds and technical expertise. The team will identify needs of the affected population; assess local capacities to respond, including those of churches, and provide recommendations for response through the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches of which the UCC is a member.
When natural disasters go to work destroying cities, towns, and villages, people across the world want to help. Natural disasters can do lots of harm, people don’t know how to help, and there is a certain way you should help after a natural disaster. People think sending food and old clothing could help those who have lost everything but the truth is, the people who are sending those items are just making situations worse. Guest column by Myla, 12, a UCC member in Pennsylvania, based on her research of disaster recovery.
Hurricane Dorian has had a devastating impact in the Bahamas. As it climbs the U.S. Southeast coastline, Dorian’s destruction is still unfolding and far from fully quantified. UCC Disaster Ministries continues to monitor the situation through multiple channels at the state, national and international levels. The ministry is in contact with its Conference Disaster Coordinators in states in Hurricane Dorian's path.
As an increasingly dangerous Hurricane Dorian approaches the U.S. mainland, UCC’s Florida Conference and UCC Disaster Ministries’ long-term recovery work sites in Florida — rebuilding from Hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Michael — are reaching out to their clients and constituents with preparedness information. States of emergency have been declared in Florida and Southeast Georgia and, as the storm headed north, in North and South Carolina.