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Disaster Relief
Director: J. D. James (Central)

2019 Florida DR Summary

Although Florida’s Disaster Relief ministry officially closed down the last Hurricane Michael instant command center on February 16, our local panhandle cleanup and recovery teams are still busy with cleanup activities in their communities. These cleanup activities are expected to continue well into 2020.

2019 became known as the year of floods. Starting in early spring throughout the summer flood waters from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers flooded many towns, cities and millions of farmland acres starting in the Mid-west and continuing all the way to the Gulf. Though Florida was not directly impacted by these floods, we were able to send cleanup and recovery teams to Texas and Arkansas.

All of Florida was on high alert as Hurricane Dorian made its approach off Florida’s coast as a Cat 5. Our volunteers while preparing for the worst were praying Dorian would dissolve or turn back out into the Atlantic. The uncertainty of Dorian’s intentions made it very difficult to determine where best to stage mobile kitchens that we knew would be needed in Dorian’s wake. In the end Florida was spared.

Not so for the Bahamas where the Bahamians experienced the greatest storm they could have ever imagined. No one will ever know how many lives were lost. Nearly every family suffered loss of loved ones and property under Dorian’s destructive power. State conventions throughout the US are partnering with Bahamian pastors to help them rebuild destroyed church buildings. Many US churches already have relationships with church families in the Bahamas, and it’s these church members that are helping the Bahamians rebuild their homes and their lives.     

Florida was blessed last year with no major disasters except for a tornado that touched down in the Lakeland-Kathleen communities. Within hours of the tornado’s passing local teams in Region 4 were on site ministering to the needs of families directly impacted. This was the beginning of what turned out to be a two-week long cleanup operation supported by administration, ERT and feeding volunteers serving out of Mt. Tabor BC which had itself sustained roof damage and lost storage buildings as a result of the tornado.

As 2019 came to an end we were once again reminded that God is still in control and tomorrow will bring us a brand-new day. 2020 will bring its own disasters but two things still remain constant: each disaster is different and every disaster affects people.  Volunteers are always needed.

The 2020 regional training events will be:

March 7               Region 3              Anastasia Baptist                             St. Augustine

March 21             Region 7              SE Region Training Center              Hialeah

April 4                  Region 4              FBC                                                 Inverness

April 18                Region 6              FBC                                                 Avon Park

May 2                   Region 5             Stetson Baptist                                Deland

May 16                Region 2              FBC                                                 Perry

May 30                Region 1              Pine Terrace Baptist                        Milton

 

Assessor training will only be offered on Friday nights prior to the main training event on Saturday.  If you badge is expiring this year, renew your background check at www.flbaptist.org/dr-volunteer before attending training.

 

Thank you for serving others through the DR Ministry.

 

Sonny Davis

FL DR State Clean-up & Recovery Coordinator

(850) 341-6447

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