To our friends, neighbors, and churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference:
Based on the most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service, it appears that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry will eventually have some impact within the Alabama-West Florida Conference. While the track of direct landfall appears to be to the west of us, it is possible that some of us will experience storms with heavy rain, winds, and perhaps tornados that often accompany this type of weather event. Whether this event impacts us or not, it is imperative to prepare for the 2019 hurricane season now.
Please carefully review the below list of ways you and your church can prepare for any such eventuality. This is also covered at our Connecting Neighbors training, which will be held in the coming weeks. Click here for a training near you.
- Back up your church and home systems (computers, databases, etc.) onto devices that can be taken with you should you need to evacuate, or to a location that will not be affected by the storms.
- Protect your electronic devices, sensitive equipment, musical instruments, organs, pianos, etc. Covering them with a tarp or plastic sheeting will protect them from leaks that might occur. Any equipment that can be elevated at least four inches off the floor will help prevent damage if waters do get into the building. Many computer towers sit on the floor under desks….put them up on the desk if you can.
- Protect your records and historical documents (technical drawings, pictures, paper files). Placing them in sealable, waterproof plastic bags within a safe or file cabinet would help if you cannot relocate them to a safe place.
- Secure your building, bringing inside loose items that could be blown around. This is especially important for church playgrounds.
- Verify that there is a contact list for all facility personnel, neighbors, family, etc. Do not rely on cell phones; land lines may be disrupted as well.
- Check on your fragile/elderly folks: are they evacuating? Where will they be going? If they are not leaving, who will check on them following the storm?
- Be aware of where shelters are in your community.
There are many resources for church preparedness and disaster protocols found on our website
We would also like to share with you the following videos on what steps your church and district leadership should take in the event of a disaster in your area. Please click on your district’s link.
Marianna-Panama City District
Our conference is blessed with capable leadership, resources, and a spirit of courage and love – together we will handle whatever forces nature sends our way. Join us in prayer for those in the path of this storm.
Be safe and be blessed,
Bishop David W. Graves
Resident Bishop, Alabama-West Florida Conference
Rev. Chris Ackerman
AWF Director of Disaster Recovery