All Eyes on the Tropics

September 22, 2022

Friends of the Alabama-West Florida Conference,
I bring you greetings from sunny Northwest Florida where it is technically fall but the temperatures tell a different story. Some of you have seen the weather forecasts that Invest 98-L is worth watching and could end up in the Gulf of Mexico.
As with any storm this far out in the waters, it is impossible to predict. However, it’s a startling reminder that now is the time to prepare for tropical or hurricane weather and inland, spin up tornadoes and localized flooding. Every single church in the Alabama-West Florida Conference should be preparing.
There are guides and forms to help you prepare for this storm or any other storm that could form in the coming weeks. Click here for all conference resources related to storm preparedness.
As your conference disaster response director, let me offer three pieces of wisdom.
1 . Know where your church insurance policy is and consider how you would protect vital and historical church documents during a catastrophic storm.
2. Devise a plan for your local church in anticipation of a storm such as covering windows, securing outdoor fixtures and cutting off utilities. Who can help complete these tasks?
3. How will you communicate? What is your chain of communication to staff and members? After Hurricane Michael this was one of our biggest challenges. It took us several days to verify some clergy were alive and safe.
As we watch Invest 98-L develop, we will stay in close contact with you and will communicate through the conference office. Join me in prayer for those who could be in harm’s way. Our bishop has stated time and time again that our United Methodist connection is at its best during some of our worst times. Hopefully this will be a non-event but do know your AWFUMC conference disaster response team stands ready to help in any way.  

In Christ,
Rev. Chris Ackerman
AWF Disaster Response Director