Disaster Response Update: Hurricane Florence (Updated Sept. 17, 2018)


Update: September 17, 2018

The effects of Hurricane Florence continues. This morning I was on a conference calls with Conferences affected by Florence. At this time, we are asking you NOT to deploy at this time.  I am aware that there may be many of you who have friends and family in the impacted areas who may have or will call you for assistance.  

In order to control the chaos as best we can, we ask that you still operate under our Standard Operating Procedures which is that we do NOT self-deploy and that we work with and through the affected Annual Conference.  As soon as it is safe and possible, an invitation will come and I will share it with you.  You can also follow requests for ERTs through the UMVIM website.  The North Carolina Conference will be asking for ERTs so begin now planning for deployment, BUT PLEASE WAIT FOR THE INVITATION!  

If you are interested in helping North Carolina and have a team ready to deploy, you can contact the North Carolina Conference directly at their Conference Center at 888-440-9167.  Due to volume of calls, please leave a message.  They will collect your information and contact you later.  You can also visit the Conference Website www.nccumc.org which will link you to their Disaster Response site.

South Carolina has flooding in the northern part of the state.  They are not accepting ERTs nor supplies at this time.  But as soon as their needs are identified, we will pass it along to you.  Their conference website is www.umcsc.org for links to their Disaster Response Website.

Due to extensive flooding, we ask that you refrain from sending supplies until drop-off locations are established and then send only the supplies asked for.  They are working on a list of needed supplies and will be shared as soon as it is available.  

One item you can begin collecting is the product called SHOCKWAVE.  You can order it through Amazon and other online sources.  This product is a disinfectant, sanitizer and cleaner and is better and less hazardous than bleach. 

The update below from the Western North Carolina Conference is for your information.  Please note their strong suggestion for any teams that go when the time comes, to have appropriate vaccinations.  More information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

Here in North Carolina we are not out of the woods.  Many areas will experience flooding over the next few days.  For my area, the Western North Carolina Conference we are still waiting for waters to receede so we can do assessments.  Our teams are not encouraged to go out into harmful or dangerous situations.  Please encourage your ERTs to wait for the invitation.  

North Carolina Department of Transportation, in conjunction with governors office is suggesting that travel is not advised 'in or through' North Carolina.  Here is a link to get road condition status.  https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/

On the news yesterday it was reported that sewage systems are being flooded and sewer lines have ruptured in some locations.  While your teams are waiting to come and assist, encourage them to use this time to get any vaccinations or booster shots to avoid future possible illnesses.

Ricky Hill

Our office will let you know more as soon as we know.  Keep praying.  And please remember this is going to be a long-term event for both relief, and even longer for recovery.  Long after The Weather Channel leaves, the needs of people are still present.

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank
Disaster Response and Recovery Coordinator for the North Alabama Annual Conference

September 11, 2018

We have all been keeping watch with the Weather Channel and the track of Hurricane Florence, as well as two other storms in the Atlantic. I want to encourage you to engage in 3 things immediately:

  1. Pray!  Pray that this impending disaster will not happen. Pray for the evacuees as they leave behind homes. Pray for the emergency workers who are now preparing. If Florence does hit land as a hurricane, pray for those same emergency workers who will be out there working hard and hardly resting.
  2. Begin planning now your response, whether it is giving what will be needed most and for the longest, money, or planning to send a team to assist. If you are planning to send a team, please wait for the invitation from the affected Annual Conferences. As soon as I receive it, I will pass it along to you.
  3. Finally, and this is crucial, help the Conference Warehouse in Decatur. Please read the follow newsletter from the Warehouse and volunteer NOW to help out. DO NOT send any items to the Warehouse or the impacted areas, unless directed by your Conference Disaster Response and Recovery Team and the Disaster Warehouse Team.

Thanks for the times past when you have responded so generously and please start your response to Florence now!

In His Grace,
Randy Burbank
Disaster Response and Recovery Coordinator for the North Alabama Annual Conference

Disaster Warehouse  Newsletter

P.O. Box 1133, Decatur, AL 35602
3220 Highway 31 South, Building F, Decatur, AL 35603

With 3 Hurricanes and Shoe Boxes everywhere HELP is NEEDED at the Warehouse

This has been a busy year for us! Now we are seeing the TV news about Hurricanes Florence, Isaac and Helene. These are bringing the possibility for flooding and destruction. We have Christmas shoe boxes all around the warehouse.

We need the following immediately:

  1. Volunteers to help work the shoe boxes and get them packed for shipping and up off the warehouse floor.
  2. We need two (2) gallon garden sprayers to help fight mildew and mold following the flooded home.
  3. We need 25’ extension cords to be used by box fan, which we have.
  4. We need anyone living close to a Target or Walmart to check daily and ask when they might reduce their prices on the 70 or 100 sheet spiral bound notebooks. When they reduce the price to 75% off and that is when you act. Please go in and offer them a nickel for each 70-count spiral bound notebooks. We will take all they have on their shelves and what they have in their back-storage room.

    Stores need the shelf space for Halloween and Christmas products. We need all the spiral bound 70 sheet one subject notebooks for the UMCOR School kits. We will reimburse you for the total amount when you present your receipt at the warehouse.They may have more than your car will hold, so you may want to find a pickup truck before you start your daily search.The employees may tell you when they anticipate the price reductions taking place.This will help you.

    When stores reduce their prices by 75%, all school paper is gone within twenty-four hours. Two years ago, the paper sale and hurricanes happened at the same time and we missed the sales. We ran out of the school paper. Do not be surprised if you have paper stacked above the cab of a pickup truck. We need it all. We will reimburse you for your expenses.

    If you can make such a deal, please call us from the store immediately (256-341-9961). Let us know how many notebooks you have.
Hope to see you at the warehouse in the next three weeks.

Thanks, and may God bless all our efforts!

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