To our friends, neighbors, and churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference:
As I am sure most of you are aware, we currently have two storm systems that have the potential to be hurricanes entering into the Gulf of Mexico. As of right now, both systems seem to be tracking towards the west with one possibly landing in the western portion of our conference. It is important to remember that these are just predictions and we must stay alert and continue to monitor the trajectory.
Here are some of the things that we need to be doing now to prepare for any such eventuality:
In the event of a disaster in your area:
- 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- Protect your records and historical documents (technical drawings, pictures, paper files).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.
1. Make sure you and your family are ok.
2. Check on your church and congregants and report to your District Superintendent or your District Disaster Recovery Coordinator (DDRC).
- If the disaster is larger than what you can handle on your own, then reach out to your district for help.
- If the disaster is larger than your district can handle, then your DS will reach out to the Conference.
We would also like to share with you the following video that explains more about what steps your church and district leadership should take in the event of a disaster in your area. Please click on your district’s link.
Baypines District: https://vimeo.com/341846801
Demopolis District: https://vimeo.com/341852737
Dothan District: https://vimeo.com/341864328
Marianna Panama City District: https://vimeo.com/341872073
Mobile District: https://vimeo.com/341865253
Montgomery Opelika District: https://vimeo.com/341873949
Montgomery Prattville District: https://vimeo.com/341876510
Pensacola District: https://vimeo.com/341868258
Rev. Chris Ackerman
Director of Hurricane Michael Recovery
Conference Disaster Recovery Coordinator