The approach of CBF Disaster Response is to engage in recovery efforts at the invitation of CBF partners most affected by a disaster event. Regarding Hurricane Dorian recovery, we are working in coordination with CBF Florida and CBF Bahamas. Due to the massive devastation and subsequent displacement of the CBF Bahamas communities, we have had significant challenges concerning communication with CBF Bahamas leaders who represent affected eight church communities on Abaco and Grand Bahama. Despite such issues, CBF Florida leaders have done an excellent job of making contact with as many representatives of CBF Bahamas as possible. From an assessment conducted earlier this week by BWA representatives, including Bahamas Baptists and the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, there was consensus that immediate efforts to rebuild homes, churches and other properties are not possible at this time due to the extent of the damage on Abaco and Grand Bahama as well as the displacement of residents and the lack of construction materials. Reconstruction efforts are months away. Over a shorter period, CBF Disaster Response and partners are preparing to assist the displaced, likely including post-disaster counseling and pastoral care, taking into consideration the necessary logistics in both the Bahamas and the US. CBF Disaster Response is also awaiting feedback from impacted CBF Bahamas communities concerning necessary equipment and materials that will be purchased and shipped to affected areas. Taking these and other possible steps into consideration, we are asking the CBF network to currently engage in two important ways:
• Pray for the storm survivors, particularly the displaced who are currently in shelters.
• Pray for an upcoming planning meeting at which CBF Bahamas leaders will be present. Their input is vital as we prepare medium- and long-term response efforts.
• Continue to give. CBF Disaster Response is unable to receive material donations of clothing, food and water. However, your financial giving will enable us to meet the stated needs of the affected CBF Bahamas communities as soon as we can engage directly.
• And continue to follow our updates. We will inform the CBF network of other opportunities to engage as soon as our Bahamas partners are ready. Donations in support of Dorian response, as well as ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, can be made here. 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” in the memo line
About CBF Disaster Response
CBF Disaster Response exists to equip Christians and churches to serve communities affected by disaster.
Responding appropriately during a time of crisis is vital. Disasters follow a life cycle that begins with Mitigation, which is directly working to prevent future emergencies. Preparedness includes plans we make in advance to help prepare a community be ready. Disaster Response is all the actions taken during the midst of, and immediately following an emergency. Recovery is what happens after damage has been assessed and involves the actions to return the community to their pre-disaster state or even better.
The Hurricane Florence response page has information about volunteering in North Carolina.
Our Hurricane Irma response page has information about volunteering in Northern Florida.
Information about Hurricane Michael response in Port St. Joe and Marianna.
The Hurricane Maria response page has information about volunteering in Puerto Rico.
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.