Hurricane Michael, which went from a tropical storm to a major Category 4 hurricane in just two days, made landfall early Wednesday afternoon in Florida’s panhandle, destroying buildings, compromising road and water systems, and leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity.
While the storm weakened through the night as it passed over Georgia, it was still considered deadly and is still on track to hit the Carolinas, which are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Florence.
As Michael continues to batter the Southeast with rain, wind, and flooding, relief groups are preparing their response while monitoring the situation.
“Even as our teams work hard to help those affected by Hurricane Florence, our eyes are on the Gulf Coast,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, in a ministry report. “Michael is the worst hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle in the last 150 years. We are praying for everyone in its path and preparing to help in Jesus’ Name after the storm passes.”
Samaritan’s Purse staff are prepared with equipment ready to respond to help those in need along the Gulf Coast and in Albany, Georgia, where Michael is expected to pass through as a Category 2 storm. The organization has already been in touch with church partners in the storm’s path.
Also keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Michael is the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT), which is looking to send crisis-trained chaplains to provide emotional and spiritual care to those affected.
“As we prepare for yet another major hurricane to impact the United States, we have crisis-trained chaplains standing by and ready to minister,” RRT's assistant director, Josh Holland, said in a ministry report. “We are praying for those in the storm’s path.”
In addition, Convoy of Hope reported late Wednesday that its Disaster Services Team will soon converge on the area and begin serving those affected by the storm. The day before, the organization reported that two truckloads of supplies were already on their way, from Convoy's World Distribution Center in Springfield, Missouri, and advance staff were already in Florida ahead of the storm.
Additional disaster response team members will move in on the heels of the storm and will set up a central distribution site as soon as the storm clears the area. The site will have food, water, hygiene kits, and other disaster relief supplies available.
“Convoy of Hope is prepared to provide emergency resources immediately following the disaster,” said Jeff Nene, Convoy of Hope’s national spokesperson, in a report.
Somebody Cares America, meanwhile, reported that it has been contacting partner churches in the predicted path of Hurricane Michael.
“Potential staging areas have already been identified, and two teams are preparing now to deploy and serve hot meals with their BBQ pits and to set up Points of Distribution (PODs) for supplies,” the organization reported. “We have also begun procuring cleaning products, non-perishable food items, hygiene items, and other essential relief supplies.
“Please pray for those who will be affected by Michael and for those who will be responding,” they concluded.
By NRB Staff
Published: October 11, 2018