Hurricane Michael after making landfall in Florida as one of the most powerful hurricanes on record. Image: CIRA/RAMMB

By Patrick Scriven

With sustained wind speeds just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, Michael is said to be the strongest to make landfall in the United States in 50 years, and the most powerful to target the Florida Panhandle since the late 1800s. While it is too early to know its full impact, a major disruption of life and significant property damage are very likely for those in the path of this already fatal storm.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) reports that partners are already present in the region and better “prepared to reduce risk and respond effectively to the needs of survivors” due to investments in training. The seemingly annual cycle of natural disasters confirms the value of such an investment.

Other United Methodists will be there in the weeks and months ahead continuing the work with partner organizations over the long haul to help people in their recovery; just as the church has recently initiated its response to Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut, and as we continue to help those impacted by last year’s major storms in their recovery.

There is no need to sit on our hands as we wait for news reports to come in; we can all do something today! Here’s three things UMCOR, the denomination’s relief agency, suggests for those interested in helping:

PRAY for those whose lives will be impacted by current disasters.

relief kits and send them to our relief-supply depots or an affiliate warehouse. Learn more about how to assemble and send a kit here.

towards the efforts of UMCOR and its partners. Donate to U.S. disaster response, international disaster response, or to the UMCOR undesignated fund on the mobile giving platform below.

We can also do one more thing. We can PREPARE. For those in the Pacific Northwest Conference, there is an opportunity on October 27th at Bremerton United Methodist Church for people interested in being training for the Early Response Team. Learn more and register for this Fall training here.

Below you’ll find an embedded form to give. If it doesn’t work for you, you can also donate here. 100% of ALL donations made to UMCOR go directly to disaster relief efforts!

Patrick Scriven serves as Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministries for The Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church. 

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