August 21, 2020 COVID-19 Update
Project 1, in Bayboro, NC plans to begin Hurricane Florence rebuilding starting in mid Sept 2020. This project has been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic.
Project 2, in Dayton, OH began work on the recovery from the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes that hit the Miami Valley area in Mid-July. Originally this was limited to Ohio residents with no volunteer housing available. The housing site opened the second week of August allowing smaller groups of overnight volunteers.
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. Specific COVID-19 safety protocols are in place and all volunteers will be expected to follow them in order to serve.
The Covid-19 protocols have been developed in consultation with our local partners and following CDC and local Health Department guidelines. Although we realize that the protocols will complicate our volunteer’s experience, please note the following:
- Most National VOAD volunteer rebuilding programs are not operating because the COVID-19 pandemic.
- BDM has worked diligently to find a reasonable balance between volunteer/host/homeowner safety with the program mission by developing these special protocols.
- Unless there is strict adherence to these protocols, the rebuilding program will be closed again.
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”.
All of the dates scheduled for future volunteers are subject to change depending on CDC guidance, restrictions from local officials in the project site areas and other states, and the local BDM partners in those areas being willing to accept volunteers. We are in close contact with these partners while monitoring when it will be acceptable to send volunteers without imposing any health concerns for our volunteers, the host community and most importantly the homeowners. If any further revisions of these dates need to be made in the coming weeks or months, it will be announced first with the groups and leaders on the schedule, and then publicly.
These schedules will be updated as decisions are made in the coming weeks and months.
“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.
Coastal NC, Hurricane Florence Response
Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 14, 2018, bringing a record-breaking storm surge of 9 to 13 feet and devastating rainfall of 20 to 30 inches in some areas along the coast of the Carolinas. The slow-moving storm proved to be the wettest tropical cyclone in Carolinas history. Thirty-four counties in North Carolina received a FEMA declaration for Individual Assistance, with a total of 34,713 people applying for assistance with FEMA.
A BDM project has been moved to Bayboro, NC to work with multiple work partners including the Pamlico County Disaster Relief Coalition. See project details
Dayton OH, Spring 2019 Tornadoes
In the state of Ohio, Memorial Day weekend 2019 brought record breaking tornado activity. The National Weather Service recorded 19 tornadoes on May 27-28. Three of tornados were EF-3 with windspeeds between 136-165 mph and one EF-4 tornado carried winds up to 170 mph, spanned over a ½ mile wide, and traveled over 20 miles. The twisters affected 10 counties across the state damaging over 7,000 homes with over 1,500 of these destroyed. Most of the property damage occurred in the Miami Valley areas of Harrison Township, Trotwood, Northridge, Old North Dayton, Brookville, Beavercreek, and Celina. More than 1,400 trees were toppled blocking roadway access.
The BDM project will be located in Dayton, Ohio to help with the rebuilding efforts in the Miami Valley area. See project details
Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria Recovery
In June 2020, BDM completed work with the district Recovery Committee on a home repair and construction program to benefit church members and their communities.
All seven of Church of the Brethren congregations in Puerto Rico, and their communities, were among those affected by the hurricanes. BDM began partnering with the Church of the Brethren Puerto Rico district immediately following the hurricane by providing emergency funding and materials. BDM is currently working with the district Recovery Committee on a home repair and construction program to benefit church members and their communities.
Local Response and Short-term Response
There are currently no short-term response opportunities available with the BDM National Office. Please reach out to your District Disaster Coordinator to inquire about local responses in your area.