Hurricane Matthew Response Update

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

There is a reason why we try and teach fluidity in the Introduction to Disaster Relief class and this week has been an example of that!

At this writing, Hurricane Matthew is still pouring rain on the states of South and North Carolina. It was slower in arriving in Florida and moving up the coast than originally thought. Then when it hit, it stayed offshore as it moved up the coast. As a result, they are discovering that the damage in Florida was not as great as thought. Originally they had asked 9 kitchen units to prepare to respond and TN was one of these kitchens. After almost a week of planning and preparation, we received word late yesterday that we would not be needed for response in Florida but, they wanted to keep us on standby to possibly respond in one of the other affected states. Continue reading

DR Teams Sent to Florida; Others Will Be Needed in Hurricane’s Aftermath

Baptist and Reflector

Photo: NOAA.gov

Photo: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptists have been asked to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected but some areas were hard hit.

In Haiti, at least 478 deaths have been attributed to the massive storm and the number is expected to rise. Continue reading

‘A Lot Of Humanity Is Suffering’ — DR Volunteer

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Kay Thompson of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, in metropolitan Nashville, prepares to do some laundry in the shower/laundry unit of the church in Gonzalez, La. Thompson is part of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief effort to help flood victims in Louisiana.

Kay Thompson of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, in metropolitan Nashville, prepares to do some laundry in the shower/laundry unit of the church in Gonzalez, La. Thompson is part of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief effort to help flood victims in Louisiana.

MOUNT JULIET — “A lot of humanity is suffering because so many people are without their homes,” said Don Kohanski, disaster relief director of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, who has served recently in Gonzalez, La., leading a shower/laundry operation.

“What we are doing is being backup for the teams who are really doing the work and helping the public. … We’re trying to help the people, giving them some kind of relief.”

The shower/laundry unit and its volunteers are set up at First Baptist Church, Gonzalez. The unit began serving Aug. 19.

Kohanski described seeing neighborhoods of houses in Gonzalez with almost everything that was in the house pulled out and placed on the street including insulation and drywall. He could see water lines on houses showing how high the water had been. Though most of the flood waters are down, he heard of residents who still had water, up to four feet, in their houses. Gonzalez is located about 25 miles southeast of Baton Rouge. Continue reading

Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief Receives Call Out For Louisiana

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

The home of Lonnie Tucker, pastor of Still Waters Baptist Church in Hammond, LA. Photo: Lonnie Tucker

Home of the pastor of Still Waters Baptist Church in Hammond, LA. Photo: Lonnie Tucker

MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief shower trailers and flood recovery teams were mobilized by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to respond to recent flooding in Louisiana Aug. 17.

Wes Jones, director of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, said a shower trailer and volunteers from Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, left Aug. 18 and one from Holston Baptist Association, based in Johnson City, will leave Aug. 22. Continue reading

Louisiana Update: Urgent Request

160817wvflooding

Photo: Baptist Press

Just a short update on what is going on with things in Louisiana.  They are still in the process of beginning to assess the need for teams and finding locations to set up.  According to reports today, some 10,000 people are displaced from their homes in shelters, 40,000+ homes have been affected, 11 dead and over 20,000 have been evacuated or rescued in some form. Continue reading

Tennessee Baptists Prepare To Help In Louisiana

Photo: NOAA.gov

Photo: NOAA.gov

Slow-moving storms are causing record flooding and significant damage as they move across South Louisiana. Thousands of residents have evacuated, at least three people have died and there is significant property damage and loss to more than 50,000 homes. At least three interstates are closed by the flooding of the Amite River and much of Louisiana State University’s campus is covered by water.

The rising water is the result of more than 27 inches of rainfall over a 36-hour period near the city of Baker, just northeast of Baton Rouge. Continue reading

Urgent Need in West Virginia

West_Virginia_Flood_1

Photo: NAMB

We’ve been contacted by NAMB to assist in the flooding in W.V. We have immediate needs for mud-out teams to work out of Charleston, W.V. We also have an immediate need for a laundry trailer in a different area. If you or your unit is available to respond, contact us as soon as possible. If there is an individual without a team, but you’re willing to go, contact us also. Call, or email wjones@tnbaptist.org.

FORMER TBC STAFFER MIKE OVERCASH DIES

By Lonnie Wilkey, Editor
Baptist and Reflector

Mike Overcash

Mike Overcash

BRENTWOOD – Retired Tennessee Baptist Convention staff member and long-time disaster relief volunteer Mike Overcash died June 8 following an apparent heart attack.

Overcash, 80, a former employee of LifeWay Christian Resources who served several Tennessee Baptist churches as minister of music, was on the staff of the TBC from 1995-2001 as computer services specialist and as interim director of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief in 2015. Continue reading

DR Teams Called Out

BRENTWOOD — Ten­ne­ssee  Bap­tist  Disaster  Re­­­lief volunteers have been asked to respond in the wake of deadly storms and flooding that occurred across the nation during the Christmas holidays.

As of Jan. 4, 11 states had Southern Baptist Disaster Relief vol­unteers serving at min­­is­try sites in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisian­a, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

“The lives of so many families and communities are forever changed,” observed Mickey Caison, interim executive director of SBDR.

Wes   Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Con­vention, reported that a Tennessee team led by Gary Cate of Knox County Baptist Association served last week at First Baptist Church in Yukon, Okla., helping cut up downed trees.

Jones said Missouri Baptists have asked for mud out teams to assist residents affected by flooding in the state.

He noted three teams were scheduled to leave over the weekend to travel to Elmore, Mo. In addition, five groups of assessors are traveling to Missouri to assist, Jones added.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, call 615-371-7927.