GARRETT, Ky. (BP) – Garrett First Baptist Church participated in a Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief program called Ready Church earlier this year.
While no one could be completely prepared for the worst flood in Kentucky history, Pastor Blaine Deploy said he was glad the church went through Ready Church. Garrett FBC, located in Floyd County, wasn’t impacted by the flooding, the pastor said, but added: “It touched the threshold.”
Garrett FBC has been the setup location for Samaritan’s Purse as it serves the people in eastern Kentucky following the devastating flood. A chaplain from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association contacted Deploy about using the church as a place to shower, sleep and do laundry on the Sunday after the flooding. The organization brought laundry and shower units that will be there through September, he said.
While the church wasn’t hit with flood water, much of the community of Garrett is recovering. Deploy said. About 50 percent of the church family suffered some damage.
“The church was built up high enough,” he said. “Day one, we were in there cooking and giving water out to people around the church. Once the water went down, we went in to help others.”
Deploy praised the Ready Church program and Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Director Ron Crow. “What Ron did was give us great information on how we needed to catch up,” he said. “We hadn’t executed Ready Church.”
But the pastor said that would change after what they have recently experienced.
“I would just about guarantee, after this, we’ll get everybody motivated to get as ready as we can for what is coming next,” Deploy said. “Our next men on mission meeting this month we were going to do our (church) evacuation plan. We’re trying to catch up to where we should have already been.”
Crow said the idea of Ready Church is to be prepared for what can be done during and after a natural disaster.
“We know that not everyone will be trained as a Disaster Relief volunteer,” he said. “When a disaster hits your community, everybody in the church wants to do something. The danger is they fail to plan, and the plan fails. Or they try to be all things to all people. You can’t do that. The Ready Church helps you develop a plan. What should you do, what can you do, what finances are available, who do you know in the community that can help? All those questions. Instead of reinventing the wheel, find the unmet need and meet that need.”
As Deploy admitted, Ready Church shows church leaders where they haven’t planned for a disaster situation, including knowing the location of insurance policies.
“They find out they don’t even have an internal plan for a tornado or fire,” Crow said. “With Ready Church, you open up the notebook and there is the information you need and that’s better than trying to find it (during the disaster). We talk about some things you should do and some things you shouldn’t do. Prepare, connect and respond. When you formulate a plan, connect people, then when disaster hits, you’ll be ready to respond.”
Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief will take churches through Ready Church at no cost. The training session takes about two hours, Crow said. Click HERE for more information.