As recovery efforts begin in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the St. Augustine Presbytery Disaster Assistance Commission (SAPDAC) is in the process of contacting all churches within the presbytery. We are grateful that no extremely serious damage has been reported thus far. Some of our churches are in areas that may be without power for some time.
 
We continue to work closely with the Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network (FLAPDAN) and are expecting visitors from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. We continue to pray for everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma and will send updates from FLAPDAN and others as we receive them.

Updates & Information from FLAPDAN: As a member of Florida VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), FLAPDAN is seeking church volunteer teams who would like to assist in clean-up efforts. Volunteer Teams are currently needed for tarping, debris removal and muck outs. Florida VOAD recently adopted a national platform called Crisis Cleanup to coordinate the efforts of volunteers who want to respond after a disaster.
 
If volunteer teams would like to assist, FLAPDAN requests all members to register for Crisis Cleanup and to watch two mandatory training videos (both links are provided below).

Individuals who would like to assist should register at 
www.volunteerflorida.org/irma/ or join with a local trusted disaster organization such as the American Red Cross or a church volunteer team that is using Crisis Cleanup (see above).

For those who suffered property damage, you may call 800-451-1954 to register your need for assistance through Crisis Cleanup.


FLAPDAN has also asked us to share the following information:

Disaster Distress Helpline: The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Calls (1-800-985-5990) and texts (text “TalkWithUs” to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.

American Red Cross: The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public, and available in English and Spanish. There are a number of ways to use this service:

·         Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.

·         Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English.

·         To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).