As Harvey threatens the east coast of Texas and portions of south Louisiana, the Louisiana Annual Conference is prepared to respond in numerous ways.
Rev. Laraine Waughtal is the Conference's new Director of Missional Engagement and Outreach and she and her office stand ready. "We are monitoring the storm and the situation hourly," she says. "Our early responders are standing by and ready to deploy at a moments notice. We urge pastors to be prepared for this significant rain event. Please remember to check on those who are homebound in the event of power outages."
Churches are asked to contact the office of Missional Engagement and Outreach through email.
In the event of serious flooding, churches can respond to those in need by assembling a cleaning kit, as outlined by UMCOR.
"In my years of ministry, I have seen these kits help survivors in two ways," says Waughtal. "First, the kits are a sign of those around Louisiana and the nation who care about what is happening in times of crisis and want to help and share the love of Christ in a tangible way. Secondly, the kits also give survivors a starting place to begin the recovery process."
As for our individual households, we can prepare in a variety of ways. Harvey itself is primed to impact Texas more so than Louisiana, but the storm will still bring a significant amount of rain to Louisiana. To prepare for rain, please consider assembling a basic disaster supply kit, as outlined from FEMA.
An emergency kit would include the following:
Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation