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DR DIGEST: Florida, Georgia DR teams on standby as Idalia looms

Image from National Hurricane Center

By BP Staff

Florida Baptist Disaster Relief on ‘standby status’ as Idalia nears

By Margaret Colson/Florida Baptists

With projections that Hurricane Idalia will soon intensify and bring life-threatening impacts this week to parts of the Gulf Coast and even inland, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief leaders are on “standby status,” ready to respond when needed.

David Coggins, FLDR director, is working with other FLDR leaders and the State Emergency Operations Center to monitor the storm and its pending impact on Florida.

Expectations are that FLDR teams will move to “active status” by week’s end and begin serving in communities impacted by the storm.

Volunteers are notifying regional DR directors of their availability and readiness to serve. All necessary equipment needed for relief efforts has been verified to be in proper working condition.

“Our state task force leaders and regional leaders have done an outstanding job of preparing our volunteers and our equipment to be ready when this storm hits,” Coggins said. “We are staged and ready when that happens.

“But most importantly, our volunteers are ready and prepared to bring hope to those who will be impacted by the storm. We are prepared to share the hope of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus with those who don’t know Him and help to those whose faith may be challenged. We will see this as we always do, an open door for the Gospel to be shared and hope to be offered.”

Currently FLDR has 4,500 credentialed volunteers.

Coggins and his team also stay in regular contact with other partners in relief efforts, including Southern Baptists’ Send Relief, American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and first responders.

All Floridians should take necessary steps to prepare for disasters, having a family plan in place, which might include evacuation routes, possible emergency shelters, and a pre-selected meeting place if family members are not together when a storm strikes, Coggins believes.

Florida’s second Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is currently underway and runs through Sept. 8. Items that are exempt during this holiday are listed on the Florida Department of Revenue website.

For updates on FLDR response, go to facebook.com/FLBaptistDR and flbaptist.org/dr-current-response

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief prepares for impact of Idalia

By Roger Alford/The Christian Index

SUWANEE, Ga. (BP) – Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief has been placed on standby in anticipation of Hurricane Idalia.

“Forecasts are not very pretty this morning,” Disaster Relief Director Dwain Carter told his volunteers Monday (Aug. 28). “Predictions are not what we would like. Storm Track takes this as a Category 3 at landfall and a Category 1 hurricane from the south center of Georgia all the way up our coastline.”

Carter said storm recovery teams are on standby, as are mobile kitchen crews, heavy equipment operators, chainsaw crews, chaplains, family care teams, mobile laundromats and shower units. Deployments are possible beginning as early as Wednesday.

“It is time to be very proactive,” he said. “I would rather pull the trigger and be ready than to sit back and wait.”

The National Hurricane Center warned Monday of an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds in Florida as early as Tuesday night.

Predictions were that Florida’s west coast could see storm surges up to 11 feet, raising fears of widespread lowland flooding.

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  • BP Staff