Hurricane Ian gained strength Monday afternoon with its path continuing to target Florida’s Gulf Coast including a threat to Central Florida. Ian is expected to remain at or near major hurricane strength as it passes near the west-central coast of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday. The governor stated that Floridians on the Gulf Coast will feel the impacts of the storm up to 36 hours before the actual landfall due to the size of the hurricane. With a storm like this approaching, it is vital to stay informed and be prepared.
As you prepare for the impact of Hurricane Ian, we also wanted to make sure you know the process of communication within the Synod.
If/when you are in need of assistance:
- Communicate with your pastor first and foremost.
- Your pastor will then communicate with their Conference Dean, if needed, for further assistance.
- The Dean will communicate to the Synod Director of Disaster Response.
Following a disaster, Synod representatives will be in communication to address immediate needs and resource rostered leaders and congregations. Deans and contact persons in impacted areas should continue to provide regular updates to the Director of Disaster Response.
The Florida-Bahamas Synod and Lutheran Disaster Response have prepared specific documents that outline all of the above steps in detail. Please visit fbsynod.com/disaster-response for this communication plan and even more resources. You can also find the congregational preparedness guide here.
In times of disaster, people in our communities will seek the refuge of the church for food and shelter, community meeting space, or simply because they believe that God is there. It is the hope that this guide can help leadership in congregations to not only be prepared to open church doors, but to also be ready and willing to faithfully do so. For further assistance, please contact Stephen Garcia, the Director of Disaster Response for the Florida-Bahamas Synod at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conclusion, we offer up a prayer during these times:
Prayer for those in the midst of storms
when the storms rage and threaten to overtake us, awaken our faith to know the power of your
peace. Deliver us from our fear and ease our anxiety.
Help us to endure the time of uncertainty
and give us strength to face the challenges ahead.
Give us the assurance of your presence even in this time
so that we can cling to your promise of hope and life shown to us through Jesus Christ, our
Savior and Lord. Amen.
who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the troubled heart, bring hope and courage to all
who are affected by this flood as we wait in uncertainty.
Bring assurance that you will be with us in whatever lies ahead. Give us
courage to endure all that we now face,
for you are our refuge and strength.
You are God, and we need you.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. (adapted
from ELW Pastoral care, page 174)