when the storms rage and threaten to overtake us,
awaken our faith to know the power of your peace.
Deliver us from our fear and ease our anxiety.
Help us to endure the time of uncertainty
and give us strength to face the challenges ahead.
Give us the assurance of your presence even in this time
so that we can cling to your promise of hope and life shown to us
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
(Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Occasional Services for the Assembly, page 394)
We have been on the job and advocating disaster preparedness for six months and twelve days, but who’s counting?!? Hurricane Idalia is now headed toward the Gulf coast of Florida, with southern Georgia and both South and North Carolina in its path.
While the exact path of the hurricane is impossible to predict, we should be prepared for heavy rain and high winds across large portions of both Carolinas.
As we pray for everyone in the path of this storm, which is expected to be a powerful Category 3 hurricane when it makes landfall, we continue to advocate for preparedness. The need is urgent.
Here are some things to consider NOW:
If you live near the coast, know your evacuation zone, and make plans now to evacuate or shelter in place as guided by emergency management. Find your zone here for North Carolina or South Carolina. Notify your family or friends of your plans.
Even if you don’t live near the coast, be following weather information from a reliable source, like the National Hurricane Center or your local National Weather Service office to know what to expect in your area.
Be sure you have a way (or ways) to receive weather updates even if the power is out.
Locate your flashlights or another light source in case of a power outage. Check your supply of batteries or lamp oil and stock up if you need more.
Secure outdoor furniture and other items to prevent them from being damaged or becoming airborne in high winds and causing other damage.
Take time now to check out your generator and purchase fuel if you need more.
Charge your laptop computer, cell phones, and other devices and keep them charged.
Be sure that you have the necessary supplies to be at home for 3 to 5 days without power. Consider how much water, food, medications, paper goods, and pet food you may need. Remember that you will need food that you can eat without heating if the power is out.
Have cash on hand in small bills for emergency purchases.
This is not an all-inclusive list of disaster preparedness tips! For more information on preparedness, visit the LDR Carolinas resource page and follow LDR Carolinas on Facebook for more frequent updates as Idalia comes our way.
For ELCA pastors in North or South Carolina, if you, your home, your church building, church members, or their homes of congregation members are impacted by this (or any other disaster), please contact your bishop and the LDR Carolinas coordinators.
Prayers for your safety as Idalia visits your neighborhood!