A Biblical Approach to Disaster Relief
PASTOR GORDON DICKSON OF CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH IN FINDLAY, OH, WROTE THIS AND IT IS EXCELLENT. PLEASE GO TO THE SITE AND READ IT.
THESE ARE DAILY REPORTS OF CHRIS CARTER IN THE MICHAEL IMPACT AREA.
PLEASE READ AND PRAY
My name is Chris Carter. I am a member of Hillsdale Baptist in Tampa and a retired 1SG from the special operations community. I inderstand you need someone in the panhandle to provide a sitrep and eyes/ears. I can be on the road from here as early as tonight.
Road conditions are relatively good. Although some power lines, telephone poles and debris can be found in the roads, they can be easily navigated during daylight. The best road to enter panama city is Hwy 77 S. From either I-10 or State Road 20. THERE IS A DUSK TO DAWN CURFEW for all disaster areas.
Traffic into the area is very heavy in the morning hours and very heavy leaving in the evenings due to the hundreds of power company rigs. Some traffic lights have been restored, most have not, and only the most busy intersections are guided by traffic cops....use caution when approaching intersections as i have seen numerous accidents.
I visited four churches today and met with staff members of three. None of them has yet to complete a full check of their members because so many evacuated.
Central Baptist, Pastor Bruce Barton, 424 E Baldwin. Church is insured and has paid crews to do the work. Immediate needs are food and water. Secondary need is tree and debris removal (not hauled away, just moved to roadside). Plan is to initially store all delivery items to this church, and the other three will have access.
Grace Baptist, Pastor Mike Jones, Hgwy 77 one block south of E Baldwin (500 yds fm Central Baptist). Met with assistant pastor, Derrick. Needs are the same as Cental Baptist.
Lighthouse Baptist, Pastor Bob Dailey, 3321 E 15th St. That number is to another person's phone. The pastor uses verizon and that service us down in the area. AT&T appears to have the fewesr issues. Same needs as other churches, but the pastor had additional inquiries--they have a well with a 3 phase electrical pump, but did not know if it can be used with their generair. If someone can do that for them or provide them with a pump they can use, they would have unlimited water for showers and washing dishes and clothes(if hillsdale delivers appliances). They have a small distribution center set up outside their chuch, handing out small amounts of water and cereal that various people and orgs gave donated. Lighthouse is in a poorer part of town and sheltered many local families during the storm. Many renain there because their homes are unlivable but the pastor wants to get them out of the church because he was told that if fema finds rhen therw they will be considered sheltered and lose priority for temp hiusing. He also expressed a need for styrofiam cups for hot drinks, paper plartes, and plastic shopping bags to more easily preparw food for faster delivery
Victory Baptist, Pastor Steve Perrine. 11th Ave, about 1 mile west of Hgwy 77. I do not have contact info for anyone at this church, and no one was there when I visited. Pastors Barton and Dailey know the pastor....
Hillsdale will have truck delivering food and water some time tomorrow. That trip will also bring 5 bodies with chainsaws.
Another need is gas and fuel cans.
I drove 1.5 hours west in search of food, water, and supplies only to find fema and red cross had already bought out all the open stores.
No need to worry about gas...could not find any cans for sale. My thought was to purchase those and let churches assign members to getting gas
Fast food places are up and running from 0800 until 1600 in panama city beach and within 8 miles of panama city. Anyone coming here within the next few days should plan on sleeping in their vehicle (as i am) or driving at least an hour outside if town to find available lodging. The good news is that temps have dropped to high 50s at nightThe greatest need exists in the small towms north and east of panama city. In my search for food yesterday I spoke to some of those communities...they feel forgotten but they also expected to be. If the intent is to extend support beyond panama city, Ineed assistance in identifying churches in places like Vernon and Blountstown...draw a line on a map between those two and the need will exist from that line southward. If we can find churches in that area, I can visit them.
GREAT COMPREHENSIVE REPORT