News

Adventists Prepare for Hurricane Earl

By Bob Mitchell

Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS DR) volunteers in the Columbia Union conferences along the Atlantic Coast are prepared to respond as required, in coordination and cooperation with state officials and other responding organizations. They have been
participating in tele-conferences and other communications to be fully up-to-date on the situation, as Hurricane Earl moves in our direction.

Conference ACS DR Coordinators/Directors have sponsored several training events in recent months to prepare our members for just such events.

The eastern local conferences have alerted their volunteers and have checked out their equipment, should they be called upon to manage Community Collection Centers, Emergency Distribution Centers, and/or a large Multi-Agency Warehouse. The Potomac Conference has material handling equipment and supplies on hand, the Chesapeake and New Jersey Conference's have equipment trailers in place, ready to respond.  Claudia Ramirez, ACS DR Coordinator for New Jersey Conference, has reported that they have relocated their equipment trailer closer to possible impact areas, so they can quickly respond as needed.

The latest forecast is that North Carolina will be seriously impacted by Hurricane Earl. Virginia and Maryland are expected to have less of an impact, and New Jersey may see a moderate impact. However, all members
along the coastal region should be prepared and ready to respond to flooding caused by both rain and storm surge. As reported by the Weather Channel, Hurricane Earl has recently been compared to Hurricanes Isabelle (2003) and Floyd (1999). At the present, Hurricane Earl is the strongest hurricane to be aimed at North Carolina and Virginia since Hurricane Floyd.

All of our members are strongly encouraged to stay tuned to their local media regarding local flooding reports, and any evacuation orders. While it is not expected that large evacuations in Virgina and Maryland will be ordered, more localized situations may develop. If your area flooded as a result of either Hurricane Isabelle or Hurricane Floyd, you need to definitely stay tuned to local media for the latest information.

All of the ACS DR Coordinators in Columbia Union want to remind our members that preparedness and response training continues to be available for our members. Members should contact their local conference ACS DR Coordinator for class information.

Our members are also reminded that there are several more hurricanes and tropical storms already forming in the Atlantic. The Atlantic hurricane season continues until November 30, and mid-September is historically the height of the hurricane season. Be prepared. More storms are expected.

Bob Mitchell is the Potomac Conference and Columbia Union Disaster Response Coordinator. Contact him at bmitchell_acsdr@earthlink.net.