Before sunrise on Sunday morning (Oct. 2), Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers in Florida were busy opening cans of food and getting the ovens heated up at one of the feeding sites as they prepared to provide 10,000 meals for those recovering from Hurricane Ian.
Last week the storm caused widespread flooding and devastation that claimed the lives of nearly 100 people in Florida and at least four people in North Carolina, according to media reports. Because of massive flooding and destroyed bridges, some communities are still only reachable by boat. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from more than half a dozen states and Send Relief spent the weekend setting up food stations and delivering needed essentials to help local residents impacted by the catastrophic storm.
Right now there are at least nine Disaster Relief feeding sites and 10 clean-up sites set up in six Florida counties. A Send Relief truck loaded with supplies including bottled water, tarping for rooftops, and Shockwave treatment to disinfect and kill mold in flooded homes, arrived over the weekend. More supplies will be sent as needed.
Southern Baptists are also cooperating with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army in relief efforts.
Meanwhile, rescue response teams in Florida continued over the weekend to search for survivors from the deadly storm. Some people still have not been found, according to media reports.
“We’re still working on rescuing people. This is just horrible the people the people that lost their lives. It’s horrible that people are still possibly stuck in rubble,” said Florida Sen. Rick Scott over the weekend, reported by The World and Everything in It podcast.
Florida Congressman Byron Donalds also noted, the podcast reported, “We’re devastated here. Fort Myers Beach, which is one of the large tourist destinations in the country has just been obliterated. It looks like they fought a war on Fort Myers Beach.” President Biden is expected to visit Florida on Wednesday (Oct. 5).
Ways to give
Check with your church, association or state Baptist convention to find out how they are contributing to ongoing relief efforts. To contact your state convention for more information, click here. Or, for more information about Send Relief, click here.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was compiled by The Baptist Paper, with reporting by the Florida Baptist Convention and Send Relief, the compassion ministry of the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.