Rebuilding Homes – Responses

All current and future volunteer opportunities with BDM require new safety protocol and consent forms beyond what was previously in place as we strive to provide safe volunteer opportunities in this COVID-19 environment.

The Covid-19 Informed Consent Agreement must be signed and returned with the Volunteer Registration form at least 2 weeks before arriving at the project location. The Covid-19 Informed Consent Agreement can be found on the relevant project page or under “Forms & Guidelines“.

“Every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” Heb. 3:4

A disaster can destroy not only homes, but also the sense of well-being for survivors.  Brethren Disaster Ministries recruits volunteers, led by faith, to use their skills to promote recovery.

Trained, skilled project leaders supervise volunteers as they extend a helping hand to clean up debris and restore the homes of disaster survivors in need. The presence of these volunteer work teams helps to ease trauma and promote recovery.

Current Active BDM Rebuild Site

Waverly, Tennessee, August 2021 Flood Recovery

On August 21-23, 2021, a line of storms and rain moved through middle Tennessee causing catastrophic, flash flooding impacting the counties of Dickson, Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys. It is reported that over 17 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, sending large amounts of water rushing, including to areas that did not see the most rainfall.

About 60 miles west of Nashville, the city of Waverly (population 4,000), experienced the most impact of this rain as runoff from upstream on the Trace Creek headed west through this town. Local partners report that it only took about twelve minutes to wash away cars, cell towers, bridges, roads, and hundreds of homes. The rushing water caused the death of 20 community members, including four children under the age of seven. FEMA has approved 954 families for Individual Assistance funds. A BDM site opened in Waverly, TN at the end of April 2022. It is anticipated that this work will continue there at least through the end of the year. See project details

Dawson Springs, Kentucky, 2021 Tornado Recovery

On Dec. 10-11, 2021, a devastating outbreak of 61 confirmed tornados swept through eight states with Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri being the most impacted. The resulting destruction leveled whole towns, but also caused much damage along the 250-mile paths of the storms. From 24 counties in Kentucky alone, over 15,000 applications were completed for requests for assistance from FEMA.

Estimates are that around 75 percent of the town of Dawson Springs was leveled, which was home to around 2,500 people. Over 400 of the 1,200 housing units in the town were lost and there were 15 lives that were lost. In January 2023, a BDM rebuilding site is schedule to open to support the recovery with housing located in nearby Princeton, Ky. primarily with new homes on properties that were left empty when the previous house completely destroyed or blown away. See project details.

Local Response and Short-term Response

There are currently no national short-term opportunities available. For information on any local responses, contact your District Disaster Coordinator.

Recently Closed and Past BDM Responses

Below is a list of our most recently closed rebuilding projects. For a full list of past BDM sites, visit our Past Projects page.

Coastal NC, 2018 Hurricane Florence

The Coastal NC BDM project was in response to Hurricane Florence which made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 14, 2018. This slow-moving storm proved to be the wettest tropical cyclone in Carolina’s history. This site served communities in Pamlico CO from Sept 2020 to the end of April 2021 before pausing and then reopened at the end of October 2021 before closing permanently in the middle of April 2022.

Dayton OH, Spring 2019 Tornadoes

A BDM project located in Dayton, Ohio helped with the rebuilding efforts in the Miami Valley area. This site reopened in April 2021 as the only BDM site open and closed at the end of October 2021. This project was funded by grants from the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund of The Dayton Foundation.

Celebrating An Answered Call: Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Recovery Reporting

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a Category 4 storm with 155-mph winds, causing an estimated $100 billion in damage to infrastructure, services, agriculture and structures, and leaving Puerto Ricans with little or no consistent access to power, safe water, and resources.

All seven of Church of the Brethren congregations in Puerto Rico, and their communities, were among those affected by the hurricanes. BDM partnered with the Church of the Brethren Puerto Rico district immediately following the hurricane by providing emergency funding and materials. The partnership continued with BDM working with the district Recovery Committee on a home repair and construction program to benefit church members and their communities from September 2018 through June 2020. Read more about this completed project here.