Responding to Hurricane Dorian

Press Release
Episcopal Relief & Development Provides Emergency Assistance After Hurricane Dorian

Press Release

September 10, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development is working with Church partners to provide critical support to the most vulnerable communities impacted by Hurricane Dorian. 

In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, Episcopal Relief & Development is giving assistance such as food, water, clothing, shelter and other emergency supplies to individuals and families affected by the storm. The organization is also coordinating with the Anglican Alliance to provide support to the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos as they continue to assess the needs of communities.

Since late August, Episcopal Relief & Development staff has been in regular contact with Episcopal dioceses and other Church partners in the path of Hurricane Dorian to support both preparedness and relief efforts. The slow-moving storm passed through Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and up the eastern coast of the United States over Labor Day weekend and the first week in September. Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, devastating Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands with torrential winds, rains and a storm surge of up to 25 feet. More than 70,000 were affected and the full extent of the destruction is yet to be determined.

In collaboration with the Anglican Alliance, Episcopal Relief & Development is providing support as the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas & the Turks and Caicos conducts needs assessments of the island communities. Led by the Rt. Rev. Laish Z. Boyd, diocesan staff and clergy, many of whom themselves have been impacted by the storm, are working to identify unmet needs of the most vulnerable communities. It is in these gaps that the Church can play a unique role, both in immediate relief and in long-term recovery.

In Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, coastal areas were evacuated in advance of Hurricane Dorian, leaving many restaurant and farmworkers without a source of income as their places of employment shut down. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of Georgia, as well as the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, stepped in by providing gas, food, water, clothing and other emergency supplies.

With the support of Episcopal Relief & Development, the Diocese of Central Florida provided non-perishable food and drinking water, emergency shelter and hurricane preparedness kits ahead of the storm to vulnerable communities including those who are homeless and people displaced from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. 

“After disasters, underserved and marginalized populations will likely be impacted whether the storm causes extensive physical damage or not,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “Evacuations can be expensive both in terms of the costs to evacuate and in the lost wages from the displacement. We commend our Church partners who have targeted overlooked families and individuals to meet needs after a disaster in non-traditional ways.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program works in areas across the United States that have been affected by disasters such as hurricanes. The organization’s Disaster Preparedness Initiative equips Episcopal dioceses to prepare for and respond to crises. By offering resources and training and providing emergency support, the program helps vulnerable groups of people to make a full and sustained recovery and helps them to develop resiliency against future disasters. Many of the dioceses impacted by Hurricane Dorian have been working to develop this resilience and were ready to respond as needed.

To learn more about building a Season of Resilience and to download disaster preparedness resources, visit episcopalrelief.org/resilience

Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners respond to the storm in the most efficient way possible. Many partners are not in a position to receive, store or distribute donations of physical goods or effectively use volunteer assistance at this time.

Please continue to pray for the individuals and families affected by Hurricane Dorian as well as the first-responders providing emergency assistance. Church bulletin inserts can be found here.

 

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo courtesy of US Custom and Border Patrol

 

 

Hurricane Dorian

Web Statement

Responding As Hurricane Dorian Continues North

Web Statement

September 4, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support dioceses in the path of Hurricane Dorian as the storm slowly moves north along the eastern coast of the United States.

As of Wednesday morning, September 4, Hurricane Dorian has moved past the Bahamas, leaving a path of devastation, and has begun slowly crawling along the eastern coast of the United States. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect in parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas as residents prepare for high winds, rainfall and a potentially dangerous storm surge.

Program staff remain in daily contact with impacted dioceses as they prepare for and wait out the storm. In collaboration with the Anglican Alliance, Episcopal Relief & Development will be supporting a response in the Bahamas as the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos begins to evaluate and assess the needs of local communities in the diocese.

“Disasters have three phases: rescue, relief and recovery,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “Hurricane Dorian is a slow moving storm so we are still in the very early stages of this crisis. Impacted dioceses are prepared to respond and begin assessing damage as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development’s Church partners respond to the storm. Please continue to pray for the individuals and families affected as well as the first-responders providing emergency assistance. To learn more about building a Season of Resilience and to download disaster preparedness resources, visit episcopalrelief.org/resilience. Church bulletin inserts can be downloaded here.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo courtesy of NOAA Satellites

 

 

Web Statement

Supporting Dioceses Responding to Hurricane Dorian

Web Statement

September 3, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting Episcopal dioceses located in the path of Hurricane Dorian as they respond to the needs of impacted communities.

As of Tuesday morning, September 3, Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 3 storm, has moved through the Caribbean, lingering over the Bahamas, and has begun to move north towards the eastern coast of the United States. The storm hovered over the Bahamas, moving only 30 miles in 30 hours, causing extensive damage throughout the islands, particularly the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. Much of the southeastern coast of the United States has evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Dorian striking later this week.

Episcopal Relief & Development staff is conducting daily coordination calls with dioceses in the path of the storm. In addition, the organization is coordinating with the Anglican Alliance to support the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas & the Turks and Caicos as they wait out the storm and begin assessing the damage on Wednesday once the storm clears. The organization’s Partners in Response and Resilience stand ready to respond in the coming weeks as the full extent of the slow-moving storm becomes clear.

Dioceses along the eastern coast of the United States from the southernmost tip of Florida up through South Carolina are already preparing and anticipating the needs of affected communities. Episcopal Relief & Development plans to support the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida in their outreach to homeless and other vulnerable communities in Orlando, Titusville, Oveido, Ocala and surrounding areas with shelter, hurricane preparedness kits, water and nonperishable food ahead of the storm. Episcopal congregations have also opened their doors to help serve as a place of shelter for evacuees.

“I am encouraged to see how dioceses in the US and Carribean have prepared and mobilized ahead of Hurricane Dorian,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “While the impact of the storm is not yet known, they are ready to provide support however needed.”

Please continue to pray for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development’s Church partners provide critical emergency assistance. To learn more about building a Season of Resilience and to download disaster preparedness resources, visit episcopalrelief.org/resilience.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

 

 

The Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico prepared to distribute water and emergency supplies for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian earlier this week.

Web Statement

Supporting Dioceses Preparing for Hurricane Dorian

Web Statement

August 29, 2019

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting dioceses located in the path of Hurricane Dorian as they prepare to respond to the needs of impacted communities.

According to the National Hurricane Center on Thursday, August 29, Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 storm as it moves north towards the Bahamas, Florida and the southeastern United States over Labor Day weekend. The storm passed through the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday with winds of 85 mph and heavy rainfall, causing damage to buildings and power lines in the US Virgin Islands.

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting affected dioceses and dioceses in the projected path of the storm, in the Caribbean as well as on the US mainland, as they prepare response efforts. The US Disaster team has begun daily coordination calls with the dioceses to provide assistance as they plan next steps and activate their disaster response plans. Many of these dioceses are still recovering from the effects of the devastating 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and have been working to build resilience for future storms. 

“We’re seeing that dioceses who have experienced catastrophic hurricanes in the past two years are not easily shaken by new occurrences; resiliency has been built into their recovery efforts,” said Katie Mears, Director for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “They have emergency plans in place, clearly established roles and responsibilities matched with an impenetrable passion to match their gifts with the needs of their most vulnerable neighbors.” 

Please pray for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development’s church partners provide critical emergency assistance. To learn more about building a Season of Resilience and to download disaster preparedness resources, visit episcopalrelief.org/resilience.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico