To our friends, neighbors, and churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference:
Based on the most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service, it appears that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Nate will eventually have an impact within the Alabama-West Florida Conference. While the possibility of direct landfall is unknown, it is likely some of us will experience storms with heavy rain, winds, and perhaps tornados that often accompany hurricanes.
Rev. Rob Haynes, our AWF Disaster Response Team Coordinator, reminds us of things that we need to be doing nowto prepare for any such eventuality:
- Back up your church and home systems (computers, databases, etc.) onto devices that can be taken with you should you need to evacuate, or to a location that will not be affected by the storms.
- Protect your electronic devices, sensitive equipment, musical instruments, organs, pianos, etc. Covering them with a tarp or plastic sheeting will protect them from leaks that might occur. Any equipment that can be elevated at least four inches off the floor will help prevent damage if waters do get into the building. Many computer towers sit on the floor under desks….put them up on the desk if you can.
- Protect your records and historical documents (technical drawings, pictures, paper files). Placing them in sealable, waterproof plastic bags within a safe or file cabinet would help if you cannot relocate them to a safe place.
- Secure your building, bringing inside loose items that could be blown around. This is especially important for church playgrounds.
- Verify that there is a contact list for all facility personnel, neighbors, family, etc. Do not rely on cell phones; land lines may be disrupted as well.
- Check on your fragile/elderly folks: are they evacuating? Where will they be going? If they are not leaving, who will check on them following the storm?
- Be aware of where shelters are in your community.
There are many resources for church preparedness and disaster protocols found on our Conference website. Click here to see a video from Amelia Fletcher that is relevant to this forecasted storm.
Our conference is blessed with able leadership, resources, and a spirit of courage and love – together we will handle whatever forces nature sends our way.
Be safe and be blessed,
Bishop David W. Graves