Hurricane Michael barreled into Florida’s panhandle on Wednesday, October 10, as a strong Category 4 storm with 155-mph winds. NPR reports that, “The storm hacked a trail of catastrophic destruction in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before finally heading back out over water.” As of midday Friday, October 12, the death toll stood at 11 and more than a million people were experiencing power outages.
The extent of the storm’s wrath is still unknown, but initial assessments are underway. Communication and transportation remain a challenge for responding organizations, but response planning is beginning. What we do know is that it takes months and years to recover from a blow like the one Michael has delivered.
Although it is still early in the response, our team is already mobilizing our relief effort. We are letting our partners and other responding agencies know what supplies we have available, and we are identifying staging areas where we can preposition supplies near the path of the storm so that we can provide them quickly when requested.
We are also planning to focus on long-term support for vulnerable populations, including refugee and migrant communities. We are planning an ecumenical response, and we anticipate providing support to local organizations serving refugee and immigrant populations.
How to Help
Donations to CWS hurricane response efforts can be made online at cwsglobal.org/2018hurricanes, sent to your denomination or sent to CWS (P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515). When sending a check to CWS, please designate 628H – 2018 U.S. Hurricane Appeal.