Hurricane Florence Update: Online Giving, Cleaning Kits, A Word from the Bishop

9/14/2018

Hurricane Florence has made landfall along the east coast and is predicted to move slowly through the Carolinas and Southeast throughout this weekend causing inland rainfall flooding, life-threatening storm surge and possible mudslides.

Parts of South Georgia can expect some rain and windy conditions. You should stay tuned to your local weather source for updated information for your area. The Disaster Response Team will continue to monitor this storm and the updates very closely as the storm moves inland throughout the weekend.

The South Georgia Conference may not have significant impact from this storm, but when a part of our connection is impacted, we are impacted. Our connectional system is at its best when we come together to help those in need. Please continue to be in prayer for all those in the path of Hurricane Florence. We will continue to keep you informed of any needs.

Below outlines several things that you can do to help those in the path of this storm:

Ways to Give

There are several ways in which you can make a donation through UMCOR for disaster response relief.

  • Online make a gift now to US Disaster Response #901670
  • By phone – Call 1-800-554-8583
  • Through your local church – Place your gift in the plate at your church. Please make the gift clearly identifiable as being for the benefit of UMCOR- US Disaster Response #901670 or South Georgia Storm Recovery #6796.

Early Response Teams

UMCOR has been in contact with leadership of the areas within the path of Hurricane Florence and will be on standby once assessments are made and the needs determined.

Please do not deploy once the storm has passed unless the invitation from the affected areas has been extended. We do have a deployment procedure for ERTs that needs to be followed. This ensures that the communities have the capacity to accept teams and volunteers and does not place a burden on the local responders. We will keep you updated on our Conference website as we receive information.

  1. ERTs from within the affected conference are deployed first, if available.
  2. When additional ERTs are needed from outside the affected conference they will request additional assistance.

Thank you for following the outlined procedures to not deploy before an invitation is extended.

Please also note that there is an Early Response Team training set for September 22 at Pierce Chapel UMC in Midland and October 13 at Park Avenue UMC in Valdosta. These trainings will help equip individuals and teams to respond in the immediate aftermath of a disaster such as this one. Click here for more information.

UMCOR Supplies Needed

UMCOR cleaning kits (buckets) will be needed in the weeks and months to come. Your church can collect and assemble cleaning kits, which is a great way to have all ages of your church involved in outreach. Instructions for the cleaning kit can be found at: www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies.  **Please note: The contents and instructions for relief supplies have changed in 2018, the UMCOR website provides you with updated information.

We are grateful to the following churches for receiving assembled kits. 

Drop-off Location List for Cleaning Kits

Drop-off locations for cleaning kits through the end of October include:

  • Wesley UMC in Macon (4256 Hartley Bridge Rd, Macon, GA 31216). Please call the church office, (478) 781-0332, to make arrangements before dropping off your items.

  • Brunswick First UMC (1400 Norwich St, Brunswick, GA 31520). Please call the church office, (912) 265-4313, to make arrangements before dropping off your items.

  • Christ UMC in Albany (505 Byron Plantation Rd, Albany, GA 31721). Please call the church office, (229) 436-3373, to make arrangements before dropping off your items.

  • Calvary UMC, Swainsboro (421 S Main St, Swainsboro, GA 30401). Please contact Rev. Mark Miller, (706) 505-4196, to make arrangement before dropping off your items.

Questions

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will continue to keep you updated through our website and Facebook page as assessments are made and invitations are given for outside ERT teams to come into these areas if needed. Prayers for all those affected and displaced from this storm.  

Luis Morales
South Georgia Conference Disaster Coordinator
morhilll@gmail.com
 
Allison Lindsey
Associate Director, Office of Connectional Ministries
allison@sgaumc.com
 

A Word from Bishop Bryan

As Hurricane Florence bears down on coastal areas in the Southeast, I am receiving expressions of support from other annual conferences. I am also assuring our neighboring conferences that South Georgia is ready to respond to any area affected by the storm.   

I was in a meeting this week with the bishops from the Southeastern Jurisdiction. We have all pledged the support of our annual conferences to be united in our response wherever the storm may cause damage.

South Georgia’s capacity to respond has increased greatly over the past two years. During that time, we have experienced the effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Our disaster response coordinators, Allison Lindsey and Luis Morales, coordinated the response of individuals and churches who provided supplies, money, and workers. In between these weather events, Allison, Luis and our certified trainers have led numerous training sessions for Connecting Neighbors within local churches and Emergency Response Teams. This is why I can say with confidence, “South Georgia is ready!”  

My prayers for those in the path of this storm also include my gratitude to God for the well-prepared emergency response teams in South Georgia.

Whenever the storms of life are raging I thank God that the South Georgia Conference will be Alive Together in Christ and Alive Together in the World.

Bishop R. Lawson Bryan