EDISON, N.J. (BP) -- On the 11th day after landfall of Hurricane Sandy, more than 750 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers were continuing to aid survivors in hard-hit communities. Their work has not gone unnoticed.
Photo by Laura Sikes/NAMB
Craig Fugate, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Administration, voiced appreciation to SBDR leaders in a conference call Nov. 7 for their response to Sandy.
"Thanks to everyone," said Craig Fugate, FEMA administrator. "It has been a busy time. The president and the rest of the team appreciate Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. This will not be a short response. We still have a lot to do. Until people are back in their homes, Southern Baptist [volunteers] will be needed. Thank you for all that Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has done."
Coordinating logistics with FEMA, the American Red Cross (ARC), The Salvation Army, state and local governments is a daily task for SBDR leaders. The North American Mission Board routinely maintains representation at the FEMA and ARC national headquarters for the duration of large-scale disaster responses such as Sandy.
The recognition of that service came quickly from another government leader in the hard-hit community of Middletown, N.J., this week, Gov. Chris Christie.
"Ah, my friends with disaster relief," the New Jersey governor said when he met SBDR volunteers from Oklahoma serving in Middletown Nov. 5. Christie thanked the volunteers for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the people of his state.
SBDR volunteers who were among the first responders to Sandy will begin heading home soon. Replacement teams will begin arriving this weekend and into next week. One of those units is a Tennessee recovery team, which completed its 18th job Friday in the Norwalk, Ct., area.
Maryland-Delaware incident commander Carl Brill reported an interesting occurrence in Crisfield, Md., where local leaders developed a system to collect needs and communicate them to volunteers.
"They are using white towels to identify homes where help is needed," Brill said. ... Read More