September 27, 2022 (Tuesday at 9:00 AM)
Good morning, all! Like you, district leadership has been monitoring the development of Hurricane Ian. Ian developed into a major Category 3 Hurricane overnight and this morning had hit the western edge of Cuba. Our prayers are for the Cuban people, even as we anticipate the storm’s arrival in Florida.
The next 48 hours will be crucial for us on the Southern Florida District and our neighboring Florida District to the north. The models predicting the storm’s path continue to change but are finding more agreement than not, indicating that the eye of the storm will likely make landfall in the Bradenton/Sarasota/Tampa Bay area very early Thursday morning. Strong winds will precede the eye by many hours, and some parts of our district are already getting significant rain from the outer bands of this storm.
All parts of our Gulf Coast are likely to experience significant effects of this storm. Once it makes landfall, it is predicted to track north to Georgia.
The District has two trailers ready to roll in response as needed, to help with clean up after the storm. Information on who to contact can be found below. We also include a form below that a pastor or church leader can use to inform the district of damage and loss to your property.
Please pay attention to your local officials and municipalities, as they call for evacuations and provide other information about where to be safest during the storm.
Some of you have asked about the campground in Lake Placid. Because most of the structures there are not rated for the wind we will receive, they are not safe spaces for shelter during a hurricane and we are not able to open it up for evacuees. Please find an authorized shelter.
We know there will be power outages and communication limitations. Please keep checking the district website and Facebook page for updates from the district office. We will update as we can.
Below is information that is always helpful in preparation (you should be wrapping up preparations now), and also links to two forms: a preparedness form and a disaster report form. Please help us know how the district family can best respond and be of help.
Hurricane Preparedness Matters
1. Make sure that important information is stored safely and can be obtained easily after the storm clears – this means:
a. Up-to-date list of contact information, including physical addresses, for the congregation.
b. Insurance information: account numbers, claims contact information.
c. Backups of important computer records – bookkeeping, finances.
2. Set up a system of communication to be used after the storm – a phone tree or other means of reaching out to those connected with your church.
3. Take photos of the church office equipment, sound equipment, etc. Safely store information (serial numbers, receipts, etc.) for equipment in case of a claim for replacement. Cover equipment with plastic if a storm is approaching.
4. Now is the time to address any physical items around the church and grounds – loose brush or debris that could become destructive when picked up by the wind.
5. Hurricanes can come with lots of rain. Assess your property for any drainage or leakage issues and know where sandbags may be needed for your property if a storm is threatening. Your county will have sites for sandbag distribution.
6. Crisis Care Kits – we are suggesting that each church keep 3-5 boxes of Crisis Care Kits on site at your church for distribution in your area following a serious storm. The district has a good number of CCKs available at our Lake Placid Camp and Fort Lauderdale Dayspring storage sites.
The district superintendent will work with the District Disaster Response team in coordinating distribution of the kits needed. A handout with directions for creating Crisis Care Kits.
7. We’re asking every church to please complete a ‘Southern Florida District Disaster Preparedness’,
to help us know the Disaster Response resources available across the district.
In the event of damage to your church
1. It is important that you mitigate any damage as soon as it is safe to do so. Tarp any roof damage and secure any broken windows to keep water out of your building. If the power goes out, mold will grow QUICKLY!
2. Call the Claims phone number for your insurance company and report the damage as soon as possible.
3. Contact your Mission Area Coordinator to let them know about the status of your church and share any immediate or long-term needs.
A ‘Southern Florida District Storm Damage Report’ is available here and will be on the Southern Florida District website www.sfnazarene.org.
1. Consider what resources your church can offer to your community following a storm – Crisis Care Kit distribution, cell phone recharging station, food distribution, emergency shelter.
2. The District Nazarene Disaster Response Trailers are standing by with tools and equipment to be used by response teams for local assistance. Contact Pastor Roy Shuck at 239-285-4215 (mobile) for more information regarding the use of the NDR Trailers.
3. Keep monitoring the district website www.sfnazarene.org and the District Facebook page for updates during and after a storm.