About 100 Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief volunteers await deployment to Louisiana and Mississippi within the next week to respond to needs after Hurricane Isaac lashed the Gulf Coast.
Terry Henderson, state director of disaster relief for Texas Baptist Men, will serve as coordinator at the Louisiana incident command center for Southern Baptist disaster relief in Hammond, La.
At the request of Gibbie McMillam, Louisiana Baptist state disaster relief director, Henderson will coordinate Baptist disaster relief responders from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
TBM Disaster Relief volunteers with the state disaster relief unit—an 18-wheeler specially equipped with a self-contained field kitchen—and the regional unit from Smith Baptist Association are on standby waiting for specific assignment in Louisiana.
Another two TBM disaster relief units have been placed on alert to help prepare meals for people along the Gulf Coast who might be evacuated to Red Cross shelters in Texas.
Water purification units and shower/laundry will respond with each emergency food-service unit. Chainsaw and mud-out units are responding to Hammond, La.
Two temporary emergency childcare units are on alert for deployment to Mississippi.
Edward Smith, director of disaster response for Victim Relief Ministries, also alerted his trained volunteers to be prepared for possible deployment. Victim Relief Ministries will work in close coordination with Joe Hillis at Information Technology Disaster Resources, who was on standby in Houston, ready to enter the affected area after landfall.
The Victim Relief Ministries mobile command unit from Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano and the mobile command trailer from Henderson County both were on alert for possible deployment, Smith reported. Another mobile command unit from Grand Prairie will be on standby in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Victim Relief Ministries is an interdenominational organization that grew out of TBM and continues to serve as an independent but affiliated TBM ministry.
Meanwhile, TBM volunteers wrapped up "ash-out" operations to help victims of wildfires in Oklahoma.
Mike Bailey, incident command for TBM's response in Oklahoma, posted a notice on the TBM website saying no additional teams will be needed. Three volunteer teams that had been on standby for Oklahoma were released, and the last two teams on site were due home Aug. 25.
TBM disaster relief efforts are financed entirely by designated gifts. To give directly to TBM, visit www.texasbaptistmen.org or mail a check to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, 75227.