Southeastern Dioceses Prepare to Respond

April 20, 2011

A cluster of tornadoes swept the southeastern US over the weekend of April 16, killing at least 45 people across six states.

Episcopal dioceses in the area are working to help congregations assess damage and respond to the immediate needs of members and others in impacted communities.

Episcopal Relief & Development has been in contact with the dioceses of North Carolina, East Carolina and Virginia, and is working with them to respond.

“Communities are in the process of identifying needs and planning responses based on local capabilities and resources,” said Katie Mears, Program Manager for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “So far, we’ve received several response plans, and expect more in the coming days and weeks.”

For example, members of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of East Carolina, are preparing to launch a response in their community. St. Thomas’ is located in rural Bertie County, where at least 11 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the storm.

Episcopal Relief & Development is also supporting La Iglesia de La Sagrada Familia and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry in Newton Grove, NC, as they work with impacted families to help them recover from their losses.

Please continue to pray for all those affected by the weekend’s storms, for rescue teams who acted immediately following the disaster, and for those involved in the initial relief efforts.