Hurricane Laura Response
Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast on August 27, 2020, impacting numerous communities, including Lake Charles, LA. High winds devastated the city and surrounding areas.
On September 4, 2020, CBF Disaster Response and state/regional leaders gathered in Lake Charles, LA, to assess damage resulting from Hurricane Laura and plan for long-term recovery efforts in collaboration with the National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc. (NBCA) and its President, Dr. Samuel Tolbert, Jr. and NBCA disaster response team leaders.
In addition to deploying an equipment trailer and providing financial assistance towards initial recovery efforts, CBF Disaster Response is partnering with the NBCA to recruit a Local Response Contractor. This person will handle recovery logistics, including the coordination of volunteer response teams for rebuilding efforts and spiritual care. The Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church facilities will serve as the response center and provide accommodations for volunteer teams.
CBF Disaster Response is now recruiting volunteer teams for long-term storm clean up and property repairs in Lake Charles. CBF-certified spiritual care providers will also be engaged as needed, possibly both on-site and remotely.
As construction materials are reportedly difficult to access locally, assistance with purchasing and transporting specified supplies from outside the Lake Charles area may also be requested.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, CBF and NBCA efforts will be conducted along the following guidelines:
Prayer requests for the initial Hurricane Laura response:
- Pray for the residents of Lake Charles who were forced to evacuate prior to the storm. Because of the damage and slow return of electricity, many remain away from their homes.
- Please pray for our local partners, the National Baptist Convention of America, and specifically for Great St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, as they coordinate and host recovery efforts.
- Pray for the involvement of the Local Response Contractor.
- Please pray that CBF churches will discern ways to best engage, including giving and possibly sending volunteers teams.
- Also pray for recovery efforts as they are complicated by COVID-19.
LEARNCBF Disaster Response exists to equip Christians and churches to serve communities affected by disaster. Learn more about the 4 stages of preparedness.
Along with Texas CBF and Fellowship Southwest Partners, CBF Disaster Response Engaging in Hurricane Hanna Response in the Rio Grande Valley
Hurricane Hanna left a trail of devastation as it tore through Texas’ Rio Grande Valley on July 25, dumping more than 15 inches of rain on the region, severely flooding rural areas and colonias. The storm’s winds also overturned trailer homes and ripped away roofs.
Jorge Zapata, Associate Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas, reports that Hanna caused considerable damage to the colonias, the unincorporated villages that dot the border, with thousands of homes having been inundated with waist-high water.
The COVID-19 pandemic complicates the hurricane response and intensifies the concerns of pastors in the colonias who are doing their best to assist affected congregants. Unfortunately, their churches are not large enough to accommodate all the families left homeless by the storm.
CBF Disaster response is assisting affected congregations through Hearts4Kids, a local nonprofit, with coordination from CBF Texas and Fellowship Southwest.
To kick off recovery efforts, CBF Texas has donated tarps to help families who lost their roofs with CBF Disaster Response providing funds to purchase gift cards for families to buy immediate recovery items.
CBF Disaster Response is also helping to equip a tool trailer in support of home repairs. Additionally, Fellowship Southwest and CBF Disaster Response are purchasing supplies to protect storm victims, as well as to help clean up damage and ensure victims can stay dry.
The CBF partners also will coordinate long-term recovery in the region.
Due to COVID-19, no volunteers will be recruited to assist with Hurricane Hanna recovery efforts. However, prayers for the affected households and congregations are requested along with financial support. Please give using the button below.
Suspension of recovery efforts in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Florida Panhandle due to COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBF Domestic Disaster Response is not currently recruiting volunteer teams to assist with recovery efforts in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, and Florida.
When the overall health situation improves to the extent that volunteer teams and local hosts can safely travel and interact, we plan to resume recruitment activities for these locations. In the meantime, CBF continues to fund recovery efforts being carried out by CBF Bahamas churches and local contractors.
Contingency plans for the 2020 hurricane season
Even with the persistence of COVID-19, CBF anticipates that some degree of response will be needed during the 2020 hurricane season and beyond. Whether related to ongoing recovery work or engagement in new emergencies, CBF will make every effort to minimize opportunities for COVID-19 to spread due to our disaster response efforts through the following protocols:
- Vetting volunteers based on health and minimizing/modifying travel to response sites as well as carrying out on-site symptom checks and social distancing.
- Prioritizing CBF’s grassroots response strategy by which disaster-affected CBF congregations and/or local partner agencies, and their CBF state/regional organizations, decide whether or not to engage; either with or without direct CBF Disaster Response involvement.
- Following FEMA/CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at recovery sites by safe distancing, use of face masks, and disinfecting.
During this time of limited disaster response, we would like to recommend the following ways of supporting CBF Disaster Response efforts:
- Continue to pray for ongoing recovery needs in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Florida
- As we move into the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, we encourage financial contributions for these efforts and future events.
CBF Disaster Response does not accept food, water or material donations.
If you prefer, you may also give by mailing a check payable to “CBF” to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
PO Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
*be sure to include “Hurricane Response” or “Tornado Response” in the memo line
For more information about overall CBF Domestic Disaster Response activities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About CBF Disaster Response
CBF Disaster Response exists to equip Christians and churches to serve communities affected by disaster.
Effective response during a time of crisis is vital. CBF is dedicated to following a response cycle that begins with readiness. Following disaster events, as requested by local, state and/or regional partners, we offer appropriate relief and recovery efforts, particularly among the vulnerable and underserved. Ultimately, we seek to improve the resilience of recovering communities.
Volunteer with CBF Disaster Response
In keeping with CBF’s focus on long-term impact, CBF disaster response participates in networks seeking to help communities after a devastating event, but employs most of its resources on the long-term recovery, rehabilitation and resiliency of a community after first-responders have finished their work. This takes time and planning.
CBF will work with state and regional organizations, the federal emergency management agency, the national voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOAD), as well as other local and national partners, including friends in the North American Baptist Fellowship, in any response.
THREE WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
Please pray for families who have lost everything they own and first-responders who are giving everything they have to save lives. Pray for communities as they cope and as they heal.
We ask that churches and individuals provide financial support so that funds can be used locally to respond in the most effective way to meet needs. Please consider a gift to the CBF Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund here. CBF is not accepting donations of items as we have learned from experience that it is much more efficient and cost-effective to provide funds that allow Disaster Response personnel to procure supplies as needed.
AVAILABLE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
CBF is grateful for those wishing to serve in communities after a devastating event. Before applying to serve, please take a moment to review the available opportunities for service and consider where your gifts or the gifts of your team can best match a need on the ground. As additional specific opportunities to serve become available, we will update this site with information. Please check back regularly to find new opportunities of service that might match your gifts and availability.
- We give thanks for the involvement of Rev. Todd Padgett, CBF Local Response Contractor, related to Hurricane Florence recovery in southeastern North Carolina, and our partnership with CBF North Carolina as recovery efforts come to a close in that region.
- Pray for CBF Bahamas church communities and the Bahamas-based CBF Local Response Contractors as they continue with Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts without support from volunteer teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pray for Pastor Jesus Garcia and members of Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis, Carolina, Puerto Rico as COVID-19 has interrupted recovery efforts related to 2017's Hurricane Maria and the 2020 earthquakes in southwest Puerto Rico.
- Pray for the CBF Disaster Response team and our state/regional organization partners as we prepare for what lies ahead during the 2020 hurricane season.