Fast-moving Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle Sept. 10, 2018, keeping its strength as it careened northward, causing tremendous destruction. It weakened to a tropical storm only after reaching Central Georgia, continuing on to North Carolina and Virginia.
A “love line,’ check-in partners on site, prayer partners back home, daily devotions and debriefing - these are key elements in the support system for volunteer disaster recovery work teams deployed by St. James United Church of Christ in Havertown, Pa.
As the people of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas begin the long process of recovery from Hurricane Michael, an extraordinarily powerful Category 4 storm which slammed into the Florida panhandle on Wednesday, UCC Disaster Ministries remains poised to assist.
UCC Disaster Ministries is poised to help survivors of Haiti's latest earthquake, which struck near Port-de-Paix. The ministry helped families rebuild houses in this same part of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Constructed with materials and techniques to make them sturdy and resilient, all these houses stood through the October 6 earthquake. Unfortunately, many other houses were damaged in the latest earthquake.
We've just updated our 2018 hurricanes recovery bulletin insert, which references Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong). A Word document, it can be downloaded, tailored to your congregation's needs and printed out. Access it here!
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."