Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams – including those in Kentucky – are at the ready to provide aid to victims of Hurricane Dorian.
Large truckloads of supplies were sent out from the Send Relief center in Ashland, Kentucky, on Saturday and Sunday to a staging center in Georgia, where it will be directed to the crisis areas.
Supplies, such as temporary rolled roofing, cleanup kits and mold remediation and food, were packed on the trucks, said Appalachian Ministry Center Director Rob Allen.
Everybody has been closely watching the movement of Hurricane Dorain, a massive hurricane that pummeled the Bahamas on Monday and has already taken at least five lives.
"We have been in preparation mode all week long, and now SBDR and Send Relief are preparing our emphasis for wherever Dorian strikes,” said Sam Porter, national director of SBDR for Send Relief.
Sam Porter said the Disaster Relief teams already in Florida know what to do and when the call goes out for assistance, it will be there.
"Florida Baptists are seasoned veterans at hurricane response," Porter said. "They will be ready, and Southern Baptists from all over our nation will be involved in the response."
Kentucky Disaster Relief Director Coy Webb said Kentucky has been asked by conventions in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to have teams ready to respond.
“This is a very dangerous storm with potential to have significant impact with extreme damage,” he said. “Current trajectory would see it make landfall anywhere from Florida to the Carolinas.”
The National Hurricane Center extended watches and warnings across the Florida and Georgia coasts. Forecasters expected Dorian to stay off shore, but meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that "only a small deviation" could draw the storm's dangerous core toward land.
By 8 p.m. EDT Monday, the storm's top sustained winds had fallen to 140 mph, still within Category 4 range. It was virtually stationary, centered just 25 miles northeast of Freeport. Hurricane-force winds extended outward as far as 45 miles from the center
SBDR is among the three largest providers of disaster relief assistance in the United States. Southern Baptist churches, associations and state conventions all partner to mobilize volunteers, resources and equipment to provide services. NAMB provides national coordination and assistance in larger multi-state responses.