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Mini-Grants Update

Mini-Grants Update

(Photo Credit: Disaster Kit at All Saints Lutheran Church, Mt. Pleasant, SC)

Congratulations to everyone who applied for Congregational Preparedness Mini-Grants from LDR Carolinas earlier this year!  A total of (33) congregations across the Carolinas applied for assistance with a variety of preparedness projects, including the purchase or updating of an AED (automatic external defibrillator), first aid kits and volunteer training, and updating security systems or lighting. These grants will help these congregations complete an estimated $47,000 worth of preparedness projects.

Thanks to the SC Mission Fund for the grant to LDR Carolinas which provided a total of $4,900 in mini-grants to these South Carolina Synod congregation:

Bethel, White Rock
Christ Community, North Charleston
Emmanuel, West Columbia
Hope, Vance
Martin Luther, Charleston
Our Saviour, West Columbia
Zion, Lexington

Thanks to the Michael Peeler/Virginia Casey Fund in NC for the grant to LDR Carolinas, which along with a boost from the NC Synod Disaster Fund, provided a total of $17,125 in mini-grants to these North Carolina Synod congregations:

A Mighty Fortress, Charlotte
Augsburg, Winston-Salem
Coble’s, Julian
Friendship, Taylorsville
Good Shepherd, Brevard
Good Shepherd, Raleigh
Holy Cross, Lincolnton
Holy Trinity, Charlotte
Holy Trinity, Raleigh
Kimball Memorial, Kannapolis
Living Waters, Cherokee
Morning Star, Matthews
Mt. Gilead, Mt. Pleasant
Mt. Hermon, Concord
Old St. Paul’s, Newton
Our Father, Jacksonville
St. Andrew, New Bern
St. Andrew’s, Hickory
St. John’s, Lenoir
St. John’s, Salisbury
St. Luke’s, Conover
St. Mark’s, Asheville
St. Mark’s, China Grove
St. Marks, Lumberton
St. Paul’s, Wilmington
St. Stephen’s, Gold Hill

Does your congregation have a plan in place to help your members be prepared and help your congregation serve your community when a disaster occurs? 

If not, let us know how we can help!

(NC congregations are encouraged to send a group to our Congregational Preparedness workshop at the NC Synod Gathering on Saturday, June 1 to learn more about developing a plan.)

Tornado Preparedness Week

Tornado Preparedness Week

In 2023, the Carolinas experienced more tornado damage than hurricane damage. With this in mind, it is time to put Tornado Preparedness on the top of your To-Do list for this month.

If you do not already have one, consider adding a weather radio to your preparedness action plan.  This is the best way to know what weather is coming, how long it may last, and how much damage might be expected.  Our recommendation is the Midland WR120 Weather Radio, which is available from many retailers.  With a battery backup, it will work with or without AC power.

The National Weather Service office in Wilmington, which covers much of the coastal areas of North and South Carolina, published this reminder about Severe Weather Preparedness and statewide tornado drills: 

For South Carolina, the week of March 3-9 has been designated as Severe Weather and Flood Preparedness Week. Please visit https://www.weather.gov/ilm/severeweathersc for a variety of information regarding severe weather and flooding safety topics. The South Carolina Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for Wednesday March 6th at 9:00 AM. This is also a good time to make sure that any NOAA Weather Radios have new batteries. 

For North Carolina, the week of March 3-9 has been designated as Severe Weather Preparedness Week. The link for our NC partners to share is: https://www.weather.gov/ilm/severeweathernc which includes the same suite of severe weather and flooding safety information as the link provided above. The North Carolina Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for Wednesday March 6th at 9:30 AM. Please make sure any NOAA Weather Radios have new batteries.

This is a great time to begin reviewing safety procedures and test your ability to respond to the test Tornado Warning (issued as a Routine Monthly Test) on March 6th. So please have these discussions with your co-workers, staff, students, and family about what to do if a tornado threatens your area.

Lastly, regarding the statewide tornado drills – not all weather radios will tone alert for test messages as they would for an actual Tornado Warning. If you are planning to participate in the drill and your radio does not activate when the test message is issued, then you will have to self-activate to start your drill.

Have a plan, practice your tornado drill on March 6, and check our Facebook page  www.facebook.com/ldrcarolinas for special posts during this preparedness week!

January 9 Tornado Updates

January 9 Tornado Updates

The Carolinas were struck by multiple storms and tornadoes on January 9.   The three tornadoes we are most aware of occurred in Chapin SC, Bamburg SC, and Claremont, NC.

The Chapin tornado, an EF-1, began as a waterspout on Lake Murray and damaged a few homes.  No assistance has been requested for unmet needs, but we remain in contact with pastors in the area.

Bamburg, SC was hit with an EF-2 tornado (video here). Most of the damage was to businesses, but many residents have been affected by downed trees and power outages which caused them to lose perishable food.

While there are disaster response crews on-site clearing damage, power has been restored, and residents have shelter, the local food bank has been hit with many requests.  The Cheese and Cracker Box Food Pantry has been providing food and other assistance to residents affected by the storm.

Since most of the damage was to downtown businesses, they will likely remain busy as some residents may be out of work while their places of employment are rebuilt.  Assistance to businesses affected by disaster generally comes from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the SBA (Small Business Administration).

LDR Carolinas, through the SC Lutheran Synod Disaster Fund, has requested a grant of $500 to help the local food pantry as they provide food and clothing to those in need.  We suggest that congregations and individuals who want to help provide monetary support to the food pantry. 

The address for the pantry is Cheese and Cracker Box Food Pantry, PO Box 303, Bamberg SC 29003. More information about their ministry, which formed in the 1980s after a previous tornado, is available here.

Claremont, NC was struck by an EF-1 tornado which damaged several homes.  Most of these homes have been deemed a total loss. Many of these residents have been in a Red Cross shelter since the storm. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church has been helping the residents who have been displaced by providing food and other assistance as they are able.

LDR Carolinas, through the NC Lutheran Synod Disaster Fund, has requested a grant of $500 to help St. Mark’s provide food for those staying in the Red Cross shelter. As the community transitions into long term recovery, LDR Carolinas will explore additional grants through LDR. If you or your congregation wish to help, please send financial donations to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, PO Box 550, Claremont NC 28610-0550.

For these two sites, LDR Carolinas is also in conversation with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), Lutheran Services Carolinas, and other VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) partners as we determine how best to be of assistance.

Financial contributions may also be made to your local synod office (marked for Disaster Response) or to Lutheran Disaster Response (www.elca.org/disaster).