Hurricane recovery continues after Michael

Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) received more than 500 job requests in Alabama following Hurricane Michael. And Mark Wakefield, disaster relief strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions said everyone is “thankful for volunteers and looking forward to engaging many more trained and credentialed volunteers.”

Since Oct. 11 several teams from Alabama associations have been at work in the area around Dothan and in neighboring counties that were in Michael’s path. At least two churches in the area, Cottonwood First Baptist and Mount Enon Baptist Church, Dothan, received significant damage during the storm.

Hundreds of homes were affected by downed trees, Wakefield said, so chainsaw, feeding, heavy equipment, administration and chaplain teams are staying busy. Volunteers staged at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Dothan, continue to process requests for assistance and direct teams to homeowners needing help.

Teams from St. Clair, Calhoun, Salem-Troy and Sand Mountain Baptist associations responded to southwest Alabama. Volunteers from Southeast Alabama Baptist Association and Covington Baptist Association helped too.

Covington Baptist associational mission strategist Otis Corbitt said the team would eventually transition to helping out in Florida, where Disaster Relief teams from several states have moved in to help.

Several Florida beach communities received massive damage to communications systems, which continued to cause concern as officials searched destroyed homes for missing persons. The needs in Florida will be ongoing, Wakefield said.

“It is going to be a slow but steady response due to numerous logistical roadblocks. Please pray for all involved — the survivors and responders,” Wakefield said in a Facebook post. “As we finish with the Wiregrass area, we will prepare to assist. There are already plans to provide equipment to Florida when possible.”

Wakefield urged Alabama Baptist DR volunteers to stay in contact with their associational coordinators for possible deployment opportunities.

Training opportunity

Alabama Baptist DR also announced an upcoming training Oct. 27 at the Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Training Center in Prattville. The training will focus on mass feeding, a huge need in communities where utilities remain out.
The North American Mission Board reports that more than 45,000 meals had been served to storm survivors a week after Michael hit and volunteers would continue to serve the great needs of those recovering from the storm. (Carrie Brown McWhorter)