N.C. Baptists respond to wind, floods from Irene
BSC Communications
August 29, 2011

N.C. Baptists respond to wind, floods from Irene

N.C. Baptists respond to wind, floods from Irene
BSC Communications
August 29, 2011

North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM) staff and volunteers were

already mapping out a plan of action less than 24 hours after Hurricane Irene

came ashore North Carolina’s coast. The Category 1 storm pounded the state’s

coast with rain and wind most of the day Saturday, leaving thousands of North

Carolinians still without power.

Some parts of the state fared better than expected, such as

Oak Island, where the N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell sits. No damage was

reported there.

Richard Brunson, NCBM executive director-treasurer, said the

hardest hit areas in the state appear to be near Pamlico Sound, Carteret

County and the Outer Banks. Trained NCBM assessors have been on the ground

since Sunday night and early today surveying the damage and helping identify

the greatest needs.

“In any disaster, we try to find out where we are needed

most, and we have to base that on good information. We rely on our assessors to

help us make these decisions,” Brunson said. “Then, we find hubs where we can

serve out of. Places where volunteers can eat and sleep, and then go out into

surrounding communities to work.”

As of Sunday afternoon, NCBM had identified three “hubs,”

with the possibility of adding more. Brunson said sometimes the hardest hit

areas lack good communication, so adding more feeding and recovery sites is

certainly a possibility.

NCBM will set up a feeding/recovery unit at First Baptist

Church in New Bern; Memorial Baptist Church in Williamston; and Manteo Baptist

Church. NCBM will set up its State Recovery Unit at The Memorial Baptist Church

in Greenville. Those sites will be ready for feeding by­­ Monday morning.

Volunteers serving with the recovery units will be helping

with anything from mudouts to chainsaw work and removing trees and debris from


Interested volunteers should visit baptistsonmission.org.

NCBM will contact them as soon as they are able to assess where they can be of

most help.

“It is too early at this point to know how long the feeding

units will be needed,” Brunson said. “We expect at least a week. How soon

people are able to get power back to their homes will play a large part in

determining that. However, we expect the recovery process to be much longer.”

Disaster relief teams from nearby states are ready to come

and help if necessary.

Brunson expects to feed about 5,000 meals per day at each of

these sites. He said NCBM is also looking at doing satellite feeding in Buxton,

part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. That relief effort may, depending on road

damage and accessibility, involve using helicopters to bring in food. This

plan, if needed, will be coordinated with Emergency Management and other

NCBM partners.

NCBM has also provided two sleeper units to the Air

Wing Guard stationed in Kinston. They are doing aerial evaluations of the

damage and helping assess the needs.

“Thank you for your prayers,” Brunson said. “Although this

storm had the potential to affect more people in more parts of our state, we

still have many people who need help and who need volunteers to quickly

respond. Please continue praying that we will be able to meet physical needs,

and that as we do so, we can share the love of Christ.”

Brunson also expressed appreciation to all North Carolina

Baptists who make NCBM disaster relief ministry possible. “The faithful

giving of North Carolina Baptists to the North Carolina Missions Offering keeps

this ministry going. We are thankful not only for your willingness to go and

serve during disasters such as Irene, but for your sacrificial giving that

makes it possible for us to respond in times of disaster.”

To donate to NCBM Hurricane Irene relief efforts, visit baptistsonmission.org.

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