The 12:30pm Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) held a conference call today and briefings suggest we go into a stage two readiness plan and be ready to fully activate Tuesday at noon or before. This activation would include:
· Reviewing protocols. Reporting damage protocol can be found here.
· Forming response teams that would report to district coordinator.
· Certified chainsaw teams should be organizing and be ready to deploy by Thursday afternoon or Friday. If you have trained a group and have not turned that list into the conference yet, please send to Chris Perry for coordination at email@example.com.
· District Coordinators: please begin conversations with you District Superintendent and District Offices and begin communication with churches on preparedness, shelters and anything pertinent to local needs. A local church preparedness form can be found here.
· Coastal churches in the Mobile, Baldwin County and Pensacola areas should take measures to secure your property, protect information and gather relevant documents. Please also assist with the needs of the fragile population including elderly or special needs citizens.
As a note, the North Alabama Conference has 700 tarps, felting nails and strips of various sizes in warehouses available to us, if needed.
Teams should be forming to help with tarping and roofing issues at this time. Please report teams ready to deploy to Susan Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure volunteer forms are complete and keep record of your volunteer hours (those begin when you leave home and continue until you complete your trip). Volunteer release forms can be found here. This is critical that we keep an accurate log to get potential relief funding.
Per the National Weather Service, Isaac is predicted at this time to be a high Category 1 or Category 2. Mobile and Southern Baldwin Counties will be under a hurricane warning approximately 36 hours ahead of tropical winds. Probabilities are high for 5-10 foot storm surge and 10-12 inches of rain is possible. Expect weather to deteriorate by Tuesday afternoon.
Please continue to pray for those in the line of the storm and those preparing to serve as volunteers and relief workers. We are keenly aware of our wonderful connection at times like these.
Alabama-West Florida Conference Disaster Response Coordinator
The district disaster response coordinators, along with AWF Conference leaders, just completed a conference call. Several noteworthy pieces of information were mentioned that might be of interest to you or your local church. Please carefully read this update along with others that will be sent in the coming days.
The State of Alabama VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) held a call at 1:00pm today. Although most in this group are not trained meteorologists and storm forecasters, the consensus is that there will be some sort of landfall in or close to our conference. Significant wind and surf could arrive in our conference by Monday evening. Various groups within the targeted areas, such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross, are in alignment and cooperatively preparing for this storm.
The district disaster response coordinators are assessing several things including places that can potentially house trained volunteers as well as available resources. Inventories of flood/cleaning buckets are also being taken at this time. Should we need more buckets, the North Alabama and Mississippi Conferences of the UMC will share their inventory. If the storm makes landfall in another conference, we will most certainly share our inventory with those who need it. District tool trailers are also being assessed at this time.
Now is the time to evaluate your own facilities if there are areas that tend to flood or leak. We also highly encourage you to reach out to those in your congregation and community who are elderly or have special needs. A brief phone call showing care and concern ahead of time will be most appreciated by them. If you are not familiar with your district disaster coordinator, please click here for the list and note their contact information.
All trained Early Response Teams and Chainsaw Teams should be on standby from this point on until further notice. You will most likely be needed somewhere.
A newly released Red Cross mobile app is available for free. We encourage everyone to download this app if you have a Droid or iPhone. Features include shelter locations and an "I'm safe" capability that informs others you are ok. A handy checklist from the Red Cross on how best to prepare for the storm can be found here.
Also, www.ready.gov is a very helpful Web site and offers tips and help on making plans and informing those in your churches.
Click here to follow conference protocol when reporting damage. It is imperative we all follow the same plan of action.
The Alabama 211 system will be an information hub for those who would like to volunteer and are unaffiliated or untrained.
The Alabama-West Florida Conference will hold another call at noon on Monday. More information will be distributed at that time unless there is a need before then. Conference updates will be sent via e-mail, posted on the AWF Facebook page and also posted to the AWF Conference Web site main page. Thank you for planning ahead. We have learned a great deal in years past and feel as prepared as possible for what could head our way. To those already making a plan and assessing their situation, we thank you. Please continue to pray for minimal damage and for those in the path of the storm.
Alabama-West Florida Conference Disaster Response Coordinator
The Alabama-West Florida Conference Disaster Response Team is on standby in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac. We are closely watching the developments of this storm to see if it intensifies and the direction it will head. We have arranged a special conference call tomorrow afternoon with all conference disaster response coordinators to organize our efforts. We are also in communication with the Florida Conference as we anticipate where the storm will land.
Details about our efforts, how you can help and what is needed will be sent via e-mail, posted on Facebook and on the conference Web site as they are made clear to us. At the moment, we ask for your prayers for those that are in the line of the storm and for God to guide our efforts in the best way possible.
Alabama-West Florida Disaster Response Coordinator
Perdido Bay United Methodist Church's Flora-Bama Outreach gained national attention on August 15 with a feature article about its unique ministry and the people it reaches.
Friends in Ministry,
Below is a link to an Episcopal Address that Bishop Robert Schnase delivered to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in July. I would like to ask each of you to take time to read or watch this. We are having similar conversations within the Alabama-West Florida Conference about developing an alignment around the Great Commission, while also developing effective leaders in fruitful congregations.
As always, should you have any thoughts on this, I welcome the chance to speak with you. I'm praying for each of you as you lead this wonderful conference in ministry.
Paul L. Leeland
Resident Bishop, Alabama-West Florida Conference