Are You Prepared to Help In Hurricane Season?
Story by Bob Mitchell, Potomac Conference Adventist Community Services and Disaster Response coordinator
The official Atlantic Hurricane season begins June 1. Are you and your family prepared?
Given the recent weather events that have occurred across our [Columbia Union], it is obvious we don’t have to be in the hurricane season to have devastating wind and flooding affect us.
A May 21, 2018 report from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management indicates there were approximately 650 customers who lost power as a result of our most recent storm event. Dozens of primary and secondary roads were closed. From general media reports, and personal reports to us, we know the state of Maryland, especially the western part of the state, experienced even more severe impact from the heavy rains.
If you live in a flood-prone area, we hope you were able to evacuate to a safe area.
Hopefully, you had prepared your personal and family evacuation kits, so you could be self-contained for several days. The federal government recommends that everyone have an evacuation kit with at least three (3) days of water, food, medications and many other items ready to go at a moment’s notice. Some recommend that our kits contain seven (7) days worth of supplies.
Even if you go to an official shelter, having your own supplies will make your evacuation and shelter time much easier.
If you are not sure what items should be in your evacuation kit, schedule an appropriate Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS DR) training at your church. The ACS DR class, Introduction to Disaster Preparedness, will be very helpful in assisting you with your family preparedness plans.
We should all be prepared to help our neighbors following any disaster. By having an active ACS ministry, with several of the official yellow clean-up kits ready for distribu- tion, you will be able to show your concern and compassion to your neighbors. If your ACS ministry does not yet have some of these clean-up kits, please contact your conference ACS department.
Some of you may also be interested in being trained so you can do more to help. We offer training focused on helping in larger events, whether here in our conference, or in another conference. A major need is to have pastors and health care professionals trained in the ACS Emotional and Spiritual Care curriculum.
In order to provide a strong ACS representation across our conference, and beyond, we always need more trained leaders. Whether you can only serve in your greater community, are able to serve conference-wide, or beyond, your commitment to the ACS ministry, especially the DR ministry, is certainly needed. Contact us and we can discuss these opportunities with you.