Current News

2018 Hurricane Michael Response

October 24, 2018

What is the MDS response to Hurricane Michael?

MDS has two assessment teams that started investigating Wednesday, October 17.

These assessment teams set up a base at Rivertown Community Church in Marianna, FL, in the heart of a heavily damaged swath.

Most of the damage is wind related with huge amounts of tree damage.

The teams travelled south and west of Marianna, towards the coast where the fast moving storm resembled tornado damage. Many trees are down on houses and many are without power. There is a lot of infrastructure damage as well.

In Kinard FL, the Fire chief was overwhelmed by the damage and need as was the community of Blountstown

In areas closer to the coast, power could be out for a month or more.

On Thursday an assessment team drove northeast into Georgia and found pockets of damage up through Donalsonville GA.

Rivertown Community Church has invited MDS to use their facilities to lodge volunteer early response teams.

These early response teams are starting in force this weekend as they work in the Marianna community, radiating out from the church.

MDS early response volunteer teams will be doing clean up, muck out, chainsaw work, roof tarping and temporary repairs.

MDS has prepared equipment and supplies for the volunteer teams. This includes extra fuel, generators, communication devices, portable office kits and fully stocked tool trailers.

MDS does not do emergency response. After the storm, MDS needs to wait until it is determined by emergency response/search and rescue teams that it is safe to go into the area.

How can I donate? There are two ways to donate to MDS:

You can donate online here for US donations or here for Canadian donations.

If donors would prefer to send a check, mail cash/checks, payable to “Mennonite Disaster Service” with “Hurricane Michael” on the memo line to: Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Rd, Lititz, PA 17543

What does MDS do with the donations?
Your gifts help MDS clean up, repair and rebuild homes in the hurricane-affected areas. Donations cover the costs of tools, equipment and vehicles and support volunteers with food, accommodations and transportation to the work site.

How can I volunteer?

Right now MDS is looking for volunteers with these specific skills sets, persons who:
• Are physically able to lift and carry heavy items
• Have chainsaw skills
• Can operate a skid steer
• Can bring their own chainsaw
• Can bring their own skid steer (with grapple)

You can complete this form and let us know of your interest.