The tropical depression, which was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane after it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, N.C. Friday, has swamped communities in North Carolina and South Carolina, damaged thousands of homes and businesses, and left hundreds of thousands without power. At least 24 people have died in storm-related incidents.
Steve Taylor, Director of Connectional Ministries for the North Carolina Conference gives this video update.
Ways to Give
There are several ways in which you can make a donation through UMCOR for disaster response relief.
- Online – make a gift now to US Disaster Response #901670
- By phone – Call 1-800-554-8583
- Through your local church – Place your gift in the plate at your church. Please make the gift clearly identifiable as being for Hurricane Florence #6848 (Lane 6 credit for Three Star Church Challenge).
Click here for a bulletin insert that can be used in your local church.
Early Response Teams
UMCOR has been in contact with leadership of the areas within the path of Hurricane Florence and will be on standby once assessments are made and the needs determined.
Please do not deploy once the storm has passed unless the invitation from the affected areas has been extended. We do have a deployment procedure for ERTs that needs to be followed. This ensures that the communities have the capacity to accept teams and volunteers and does not place a burden on the local responders. We will keep you updated on our Conference website as we receive information.
- ERTs from within the affected conference are deployed first, if available.
- When additional ERTs are needed from outside the affected conference they will request additional assistance.
Thank you for following the outlined procedures to not deploy before an invitation is extended.
As soon as it is safe and possible, an invitation will come and will be shared with the South Georgia Conference. You can also follow requests for ERTs through the UMVIM website. The North Carolina Conference will be asking for ERTs, so begin planning now for deployment, BUT PLEASE WAIT FOR THE INVITATION!
North Carolina: If you are interested in helping North Carolina and have a team ready to deploy, you can contact the North Carolina Conference directly at their Conference Center at 888-440-9167. Due to the volume of calls, please leave a message. They will collect your information and contact you later. You can also visit the Conference website at www.nccumc.org, which will link you to their Disaster Response site.
South Carolina: Significant flooding has occurred in the northern part of the state. They are not accepting ERTs nor supplies at this time, but as soon as their needs are identified, information will be shared. Their conference website is www.umcsc.org for links to their Disaster Response website.
Upcoming ERT Trainings: Please also note that there is an Early Response Team training set for September 22 at Pierce Chapel UMC in Midland and October 13 at Park Avenue UMC in Valdosta. These trainings will help equip individuals and teams to respond in the immediate aftermath of a disaster such as this one. Click here for more information.
UMCOR Supplies Needed
UMCOR cleaning kits (buckets) will be needed in the weeks and months to come. Your church can collect and assemble cleaning kits, which is a great way to have all ages of your church involved in outreach. Instructions for the cleaning kit can be found at: www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-
We are grateful to the following churches for receiving assembled kits.
Drop-off Location List for Cleaning Kits
Drop-off locations for cleaning kits through the end of October include:
Wesley UMC in Macon (4256 Hartley Bridge Rd, Macon, GA 31216). Please call the church office, (478) 781-0332, to make arrangements before dropping off your items.
Brunswick First UMC (1400 Norwich St, Brunswick, GA 31520). Please call the church office, (912) 265-4313, to make arrangements before dropping off your items.
Christ UMC in Albany (505 Byron Plantation Rd, Albany, GA 31721). Please call the church office, (229) 436-3373, to make arrangements before dropping off your items.
Calvary UMC, Swainsboro (421 S Main St, Swainsboro, GA 30401). Please contact Rev. Mark Miller, (706) 505-4196, to make arrangement before dropping off your items.
- Grace UMC, Vidalia (1200 Aimwell Rd, Vidalia, GA 30474). Please contact the church office at (912) 537-3973 to make arrangements before dropping off your items.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will continue to keep you updated through our website and Facebook page as assessments are made and invitations are given for outside ERT teams to come into these areas if needed. Prayers for all those affected and displaced from this storm.
A Word from Bishop Bryan
As Hurricane Florence bears down on coastal areas in the Southeast, I am receiving expressions of support from other annual conferences. I am also assuring our neighboring conferences that South Georgia is ready to respond to any area affected by the storm.
I was in a meeting this week with the bishops from the Southeastern Jurisdiction. We have all pledged the support of our annual conferences to be united in our response wherever the storm may cause damage.
South Georgia’s capacity to respond has increased greatly over the past two years. During that time, we have experienced the effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Our disaster response coordinators, Allison Lindsey and Luis Morales, coordinated the response of individuals and churches who provided supplies, money, and workers. In between these weather events, Allison, Luis and our certified trainers have led numerous training sessions for Connecting Neighbors within local churches and Emergency Response Teams. This is why I can say with confidence, “South Georgia is ready!”
My prayers for those in the path of this storm also include my gratitude to God for the well-prepared emergency response teams in South Georgia.
Whenever the storms of life are raging I thank God that the South Georgia Conference will be Alive Together in Christ and Alive Together in the World.
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan
Financial Donations: To aid with disasters within the South Georgia Annual Conference you can send financial gifts through the Conference Treasurer's Office earmarked Advance Special #6796 - South Georgia Storm Recovery (Disaster Response). The address is PO Box 13145 / Macon, Georgia 31208. Financial gifts will make a significant impact on this disaster, future relief, and long-term recovery efforts.
Keeping You Updated
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
South Georgia Conference Disaster Coordinator
Associate Director, Office of Connectional Ministries
firstname.lastname@example.org / (912) 393-5524