Hurricane Matthew's impending arrival in the Southeastern states is preparing residents for the worst. The much talked about hurricane has already made a strong impact in and around Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. It is expected to be a historic catastrophe which currently has sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. This weather event is a Category 3 and residents up and down the east coast have been asked to stay abreast of their local conditions and evacuation routes as appropriate.
The NAD ACS Disaster Response Team held a Gotomeeting of its Union Directors and a few affected Conference Directors that are currently on the ground in the region. An overview of the expected timeline as forecast was provided. They also outlined some of the resources that could be available to them should the need arise from FEMA, VOAD, and local Emergency Management. The Southern Union Conference gave the following report from its local teams in South Carolina and Georgia:
- 11 Warehouses have been identified in South Carolina for use should the state need us to set them up
- South Carolina is in full Activation at their EOC
- South Carolina can deploy as soon as needed
- As of 3 pm today, approximately 1,000,000 has evacuated from the coast area
- I20/26 is one way from the coast to I77/26
- A Reentry program is in place and will determine who gets back into evacuated area
- Coastal Churches that might evacuate have been contacted and inland churches have offered support
- GA team is available for deployment and can respond within 2 hours
Bill Brimner, the lead Disaster person of Florida Conference, is currently working to ensure that Florida is ready for the effects of the Hurricane. Several Unions have expressed their willingness to assist the other conferences that are/will be affected, and we’ll be the liaison to facilitate this in a smooth manner.
Let us remember those who have already been affected by this tragic weather, and those who are on high alert as Hurricane Matthew continues to pose a threat for communities.