The plight of Texas has all but disappeared off the radar in the wake of the media’s coverage of Hurricane Irma, but not for Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief.
At the current time, we have trained feeding teams, flood recovery, chainsaw, shower units and chaplains serving on the ground in Texas in some of the hardest hit areas. We have made a commitment to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey and we intend to honor that promise as our certified volunteers try to bring help, hope and healing to all we encounter.
Before Irma made the turn toward Florida, our assistance was requested and we had a mobile kitchen and shower unit on standby. Thankfully, the storm moved off its expected course and the destruction, while severe, was not as widespread as projected. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama said their volunteers, along with and a handful of other states, could adequately handle the response.
It’s important to note that we serve at invitation of the affected state in out-of-state responses. This enables us to respond at the right time in the right way.
It is not a good idea for volunteers to self-deploy as this can often create problems rather than help for affected state. It’s also not a good idea to collect clothing, bottled water and other goods unless there is an organization capable of storing and distributing on site. Disaster response coordinators discourage these donations and would prefer generous givers donate monetary gifts to reputable relief organizations like Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief or Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
If contributing personal time and skills seems a better fit, the North American Mission Board has set up a site through Send Relief where untrained volunteers can register for assignment at www.namb.net.
The best way to connect with us is to take our trainings, which enable us to credential you as a trained Disaster Relief volunteer. We have a training scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 16 at First Baptist of Richmond. Register at www.kybaptist.org/dr. Persons new to Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief would need to sign up for Phase I training.
Coy Webb is the Kentucky Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Director and leader of more than 4,500 certified volunteers capable of assisting people affected by natural and man-made disasters in Kentucky, the nation, and around the world.