While the timeline for Hurricane Michael was fast, the damage assessment and rebuilding process will take months, even years.
Rising death toll. Obliterated neighborhoods. Catastrophic destruction. Total devastation. Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane ever to hit the panhandle of Florida and the third most intense to hit the United States, has left a path of destruction from Florida to Virginia. A Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds—just two mph lower than a Category 5 hurricane—when it hit Florida, Michael has left 12 people dead, a number that is expected to rise, and about 1 million people without power. As the storm moved north, high winds and driving rains caused flash floods and spawned tornadoes as far north as Virginia.
While the timeline for Hurricane Michael was fast, the damage assessment and rebuilding process will take months, even years. RCA Global Mission is working with our primary partner for domestic disaster response, World Renew Disaster Response Services, to monitor the situation and determine the best ways to help the people most affected by the storm.
“It’s times like these where we, as a body of believers, need to rally around those gravely affected by the recent hurricanes,” says Scott Engelsman, supervisor of disaster response for RCA Global Mission. “It’s simply our responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
So how can you be the hands and feet of Jesus? First, PRAY for those in the wake of this monster storm, those dealing with the immediate effects of the storm, and those who have lost everything. Second, GIVE financially to help the RCA respond to the storm. Initial estimates calculate the damage at $8 billion. Your money will be used to help people rebuild their homes and their lives in the months and years to come. Third, consider the call to VOLUNTEER. Initial relief work is done by trained disaster response personnel, but the need for help in the long term is high. Contact the RCA Volunteer office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616-698-7071 for more information.
To donate online: Visit www.rca.org/give/2018-hurricane-michael
By phone (U.S. only): Call Terri Boven at 616-541-0835.
By mail: Please send your check, made out to Reformed Church in America and designated Hurricane Michael to Reformed Church in America, Attn: Finance Dept., 4500 60th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512, or, in Canada, to Regional Synod of Canada, PO Box 5070 Stn LCD1, Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8.
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images