Disaster Response Update: Responding to Hurricane Hermine


Much of the Florida panhandle and the gulf coast has been preparing since Thursday for Hurricane Hermine to make landfall. Most of the northern part of Florida, all of south Georgia and parts of middle Georgia are under a tropical storm warning for sustained winds of 35 mph. A flash flood watch has also been issued for parts of middle and eastern Georgia, on the inland side of the hurricane path. 

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 56 counties in southern and middle Georgia ahead of Hurricane Hermine. The state of emergency went into effect at noon Thursday and extends through midnight Saturday. 

The Disaster Response Teams of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, the Florida Conference, and the South Georgia Conference are monitoring the storm closely in their areas.

Should your local church experience damage from this or any storm, clergy or church leadership should first contact your District Superintendent, then chair of trustees who should contact the church insurance company. Your DS will report to conference director of Connectional Ministries and Disaster Response chair so that assessments can be made. 

Check the Conference website for updates as we learn of any needs. Please do not self-deploy, but wait until an invitation is extended before going to a disaster site.

Emergency Response Procedures / North Georgia Conference

Immediately following a disaster, the Pastor of a local church inspects damage to any/all church property and makes two phone calls to:
a) The District Superintendent
b) The Trustee Chairperson for their local church (Trustee Chairperson contacts the insurance company for the local church and begins deliberations according to churches policy.)

The District Superintendent contacts:
a) The District Disaster Coordinator
b) The Conference Disaster Coordinator: Herzen Andone

The Conference Disaster Coordinator (Herzen Andone) contacts:
a) The Resident Bishop: Sue Haupert-Johnson
b) The Conference Disaster Relief Chair: Jim Higgins

The Conference Disaster Relief Chair contacts the following persons:
a) Pastor of the local church who initiated the call
b) Chairperson of the Conference Disaster Assessment Teams
c) Other District Disaster Coordinators

The Chair of the Conference Disaster Assessment Teams visits damage site, calls in other teams as needed to assess conditions. Through coordination with the Conference Disaster Relief Chairperson, the Assessment Team Chairperson determines the number of early response teams needed to cover disaster area.

The Conference Disaster Relief Chair determines site for a command post and selects as many helpers as possible to meet the needs of the command post and related disaster area.