Donations for Hurricane Irma disaster response and recovery
Hurricane Irma made landfall on the low-lying islands of the Florida Keys on Sunday morning, September 10, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 130 mph winds and a storm surge of 10 feet. It was the first Category 4 landfall in Florida since 2004. At least 6.7 million customers are without power in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama this morning, including more than 5.6 million accounts in Florida alone. The storm, recently downgraded to a post-tropic cyclone, continues its journey through the Southeastern United States, dumping heavy rains in many communities. Many communities in Florida are still inaccessible and may continue to be for some time. Areas of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina experienced significant flooding.
Donate to Support the Relief Effort
With damage estimates already coming in at $50 billion, the recovery effort will be long, hard, and will be spread over multiple states. Lutheran Services of Florida, Lutheran Disaster Response-US, and LCMS Disaster Response are collecting financial gifts to assist with hurricane response and recovery. Financial gifts are the most impactful as well as the most flexible in this situation. Please do not send material goods at this time (food, bottled water, clothing, etc.); the affected local communities are not able to handle donated goods as they do not have space to store donations. Here is a great video that explains the impact that financial gifts can have on local communities affected by disasters: https://youtu.be/12cNBNKIXv8.
To support disaster response and recovery efforts in the Southeast US, visit the links below:
Lutheran Services of Florida https://www.lsfnet.org/ https://www.lsfnet.org/victims-of-natural-disasters/ – click the red “donate” button in the top right corner
Lutheran Services of the Carolinas http://www.lscarolinas.net/
Lutheran Services of Georgia https://www.lsga.org/disaster-relief/
Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands https://lssvi.org/disaster-relief/
ELCA Southeastern Synod https://sites.google.com/a/elca-ses.org/elca/home/disaster-ministry
LCMS Disaster Response https://www.lcms.org/irma
Lutheran Disaster Response-US http://www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/OurImpact/US-Hurricane-Relief
Bulletin inserts for hurricane response can be found here:
Organizing Volunteer Mission Teams
There will be a time for volunteer mission teams to help with clean up and care, but not yet. Out of state volunteers are being asked to remain on standby until local residents and officials are able to survey the damage and assess what resources are needed.
As a reminder, volunteers should never self-deploy; if you or your congregation/faith community is interested in organizing a disaster response/recovery team, please contact John Pyron, Director of LSS Disaster Services (phone: 937.540.2507 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Pyron has over a decade of experience coordinating disaster response and recovery volunteers, and LSS can provide pre-trip orientation and training as well as helping connect your group with local relief organizations.
As the statewide coordinating agency for Lutheran disaster services and the Ohio Disaster Network, LSS has over 20 years of experience coordinating disaster response and recovery through training, mentorship, and community collaboration.
To support this coordination work, please visit http://www.lssnetworkofhope.org/disasterservices/ and click on the orange “Give” button in the top right corner.