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Disaster Relief units preparing for Hurricane Isabel response

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Southern Baptist Disaster Relief forces are gearing up for a potentially large-scale response as Hurricane Isabel approaches North Carolina and Virginia.

The hurricane had sustained winds of 110 mph as of Wednesday morning, with no significant weakening anticipated before landfall on Thursday. A hurricane warning has been issued for the North Carolina and Virginia coastlines.

Terry Henderson, national coordinator for the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network and a North American Mission Board staff member, said members of a national response team are traveling to the Raleigh, N.C., area to begin coordinating the effort.

Henderson said in-state volunteers likely would handle much of the response in North Carolina. Other efforts are being focused on Virginia and further up the Mid-Atlantic coast.

The North Carolina Baptist State Convention has one of the largest Disaster Relief forces in the Southern Baptist Convention, including three mobile kitchen units, 80 cleanup and recovery units, four shower units, two laundry units and a command center. Overall, Southern Baptists have more than 700 Disaster Relief units.

The mobile kitchen units likely will be the first to respond, Henderson said, preparing meals for distribution by the American Red Cross to affected residents and relief workers. Cleanup units equipped with chainsaws and other equipment likely would follow after any floodwaters have subsided.

More than 25,000 trained volunteers currently are part of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network nationwide. The units generally are owned and operated by state conventions, local associations churches, and coordinated nationally by the North American Mission Board.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: GETTING READY.
For regular updates on Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts, visit www.namb.net/dr. Contributions for national Southern Baptist Disaster Relief responses may be sent to the North American Mission Board, 4200 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022.

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  • James Dotson