SE Synod Disaster Team responds to Wildfires, Tornados.
Source: SE Synod E-Newsletter for Dec 3, 2016
Yesterday, residents and business owners in the Gatlinburg, TN communities impacted by wildfires were allowed to return to their homes and businesses for a brief period of time. The Rev. Jim Korzun, pastor, Our Savior, Gatlinburg, has confirmed that the congregation’s building is intact. Two of the congregation’s families lost their homes. Our Savior will be worshipping this Sunday at a Baptist congregation in Sevierville, TN.
Local officials are still not allowing volunteers into the area until mid or later next week. They ask that all donations of materials and supplies be paused for now as they continue to identify and prepare warehouse space to store supplies which will be necessary for immediate response and long-term disaster recovery.
The graphic below depicts the cycle of disaster management. In these immediate days following both the wildfires and tornadoes that touched down not far from Gatlinburg, the focus is on securing the impacted areas, initial damage assessments, and establishing infrastructure that will support an organized and efficient response and long-term recovery process. Supplies and volunteers will be needed well into the future.
Cash donations are the most pressing need now to support infrastructure and to equip volunteers to respond in whatever ways are most needed in these immediate days following the devastation.
Click “DONATE NOW!” below to give to the Southeastern Synod’s disaster response effort in Gatlinburg.
(Note: Members of Messiah can also make a dedicated offering to the relief effort through Messiah Lutheran Church by writing “SE Synod Disaster Response” on an offering envelope)
In the meantime, you can also register your interest and availability to assist in the immediate days, weeks and months by adding yourself or your congregation to the Southeastern Synod Disaster Volunteer Registry here. For questions or to offer large-scale or corporate donations, contact the Southeastern Synod’s Volunteer Disaster Coordinator Ellen Koester at email@example.com.
It is anticipated that the volunteer reception center in Gatlinburg will be set up and open next week. To register to volunteer go to www.volunteeretn.org.