Monitoring Hurricane Dorian - 9/2/19 Update
We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas and those in the path of Hurricane Dorian along the east coast. Based on the most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service, it looks like our conference will be heavily impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered residents in six Georgia counties east of I-95 - Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh Counties - to evacuate beginning today at noon.
Bishop Bryan, Luis Morales (Conference Disaster Response Coordinator), Rev. David Thompson (Coastal DS) and Kelly Roberson (Communications Director) had a conference call this morning to talk about immediate plans now and protocols for when the storm hits. Here are some updates we can provide now:
- Rev. Thompson has been in communication with the pastors and churches in his district along the east coast.
- Epworth By The Sea, Magnolia Manor in Richmond Hill and the Methodist Children’s Home in St. Marys are making their necessary preparations.
- We are beginning to hear of churches opening up as Good Samaritan Shelters. If your church is thinking about opening as a shelter for those displaced because of the storm, please be in touch with Luis Morales. We want to 1 - provide you with some helpful guidelines and 2 - compile a list. Contact Luis at email@example.com or 478-216-7729.
- Spanish speaking volunteers are needed once the storm passes through to help with the crisis-cleanup database calls. If you are able to volunteer, please contact Luis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-216-7729.
- UMCOR and the North Georgia Conference have been in constant communication with us and stand ready to help as soon as the storm passes through.
- Luis has been on GA VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Assisting in Disasters) calls each day so that we can be part of a coordinated response.
- Special offerings to help with storm recovery needs may be sent to the South Georgia Conference Storm Recovery efforts. Click here for details.
- We will be disseminating information as to if and when Early Response Teams are needed as soon as we can and when it safe to do so after the storm.
With still much unknown, the Conference Disaster Response Team continues to closely monitor the storm and will send additional updates as needed. The latest disaster response information will be posted at www.sgaumc.org/disasterresponse.
Again, we thank you for all you are doing to support our response efforts across South Georgia and extending throughout the connection.
A Note from Bishop Bryan
Even as we in South Georgia make preparations for Hurricane Dorian we are focusing our prayers right now on those in the Bahamas who are currently experiencing the devastating effects of the storm. We are thankful for the emergency personnel who are in place on those islands and who are risking their own lives for the safety of others. God bless those first responders as they do their work today and in the days ahead.
How grateful I am for the way South Georgia has responded to the storms of the past three years by increasing our capacity to provide early response teams. In addition, our neighboring conferences have contacted us to let us know of their readiness to respond once we define our needs and let them know where we need their help.
I thank God for the relationships made possible through the connectional system of The United Methodist Church!
Alive Together in Witness,
R. Lawson Bryan