TBM deploys first wave of Hurricane Dorian relief

The first wave of TBM disaster relief volunteers receive instruction before deployment in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. (Texas Baptist Communications Photo)

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EDITOR’S NOTE—UPDATED INFORMATION: Before noon on Sept. 4, Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief Director Dwain Carter sent an email to all TBM disaster relief volunteers to  “stand down.”

“Hurricane Dorian has done just what we prayed for, turned away from the east coast and is staying out to sea,” Carter wrote.

Consequently, Florida Emergency Management, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army requested that all Baptist feeding units “stand down,” saying local volunteers and agencies should be able to handle any needs in coastal areas. North and South Carolina offered essentially the same instructions, Carter noted.

So, the TBM disaster relief team already on the road was redirected back to Dallas. Carter thanked volunteers for their flexibility and for the hours of work and preparation many already had invested.

“Please pray with me and for me, as I will be continuing to work on a plan of how we can assist in the Bahamas (people) that have lost everything because of this hurricane,” Carter wrote.

The original article as posted Sept. 3 follows:

The first wave of Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers left North Texas on Sept. 3, bound for a Deep South site where they will be closer to areas of greatest need after Hurricane Dorian reaches the U.S. coast.

About 45 TBM volunteers will assemble at a staging area in Hattiesburg, Miss., to wait for further instructions. The initial team of volunteers expects to staff a 15,000-meal-a-day kitchen, a shower and laundry unit, and a generator, as well as operate chainsaws to remove fallen limbs.

“Hurricane Dorian remains a sizable storm with the potential to inflict significant damage,” said Dwain Carter, TBM disaster relief director. “We have positioned our volunteers where they can move more quickly.”

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On Sept. 2, Carter sent an email to all of TBM’s trained disaster relief volunteers with an appeal: “Respond and serve.”

A TBM disaster relief volunteer from Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall pauses to pray before deployment in response to Hurricane Dorian. (Photo / John Hall)

In addition to the first wave of volunteers, who likely will serve in Florida, TBM planned to send a second group somewhere in the Carolinas later in the week, which would include an incident management team, the email stated.

That crew expects to staff a 21,000-meal-per-day field kitchen, a shower and laundry unit, a generator and heavy equipment, in addition to operating chainsaws and installing tarps as temporary roofs.

“After all this settles down, we will be looking for flood recovery teams” to remove water-damaged drywall and soaked flooring, as well as disinfect surfaces to mitigate mold, Carter wrote.

Hurricane batters Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas with 180-mph winds over the Labor Day weekend. Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, posted on Facebook a Sept. 2 report from Everton Jackson, general secretary of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship.

“Preliminary reports suggest that low-lying areas of Green Turtle Cay, home to approximately 500 people, have been flooded. It is confirmed that an 8-year-old male child has become the first casualty in relation to the storm in Abaco,” Jackson wrote.

“It is still too early to know the full extent of the damage occasioned by the hurricane, but what is sure is that prayers are needed for those affected and those in the path of this dreadful hurricane. In addition, support will be needed to aid the restoration of the affected countries.”

Carter likewise requested prayer.

“Please continue to pray for people along the Atlantic Coast, as well as TBM volunteers as they seek to provide hope and healing to hurting people,” he said.

To contribute financially, send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, TX 75227, call (214) 275-1116 or click here.

John Hall of TBM communications contributed to this article.


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