Disaster Relief

Our office strives to train leaders, develop new teams, and lead in Christian discipleship and evangelism in the area of Disaster Relief as SC Baptists bring help, healing, and hope during local, state, national, and international disasters.

Potential Response: Hurricane Sally

Our Disaster Relief leaders are awaiting word from the DR directors in Alabama and Florida regarding plans for a response to the tree damage and flooding from Hurricane Sally. It is likely that mud-out will be needed in Florida, chainsaw in Alabama. Details will be posted here as decisions are made. We continue to be committed to the work at our site in Louisiana through October 3.

It's Janie Season!

Hurricane Laura- SC Responds

Update for 9/13/20 - SCDR continues to serve the residents of Leesville, LA who suffered Category 2 damage from Hurricane Laura. After 2-1/2 weeks, the site is running smoothly, 88 chainsaw jobs have been completed, and we anticipate continuing work through Oct. 3. (Click the title above to read more.) 

Upcoming Events

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the state-wide October 10, 2020 Disaster Relief Training has been CANCELLED.
We are holding small, customized trainings at the request of local Baptist Associations. Thus far, three have been scheduled for this fall in various parts of the state. If you are interested in being trained, check with your Director of Missions or with the state DR office for info, 803-227-6149.

Chaplain Training
October 9-10, 2020
SCBC Building, 190 Stoneridge Drive, Columbia
Registration is now open!  
Click Here for More Information

DR Statistics

Current SC Activity

We are running a command post in Leesville, Vernon Parish, LA for recovery from Hurricane Laura. Volunteers at the site include Incident Management, chainsaw, heavy equipment, chaplains, assessors, cooks, shower/laundry. Alabama DR is also sending chainsaw units, chaplains, shower/laundry, and assessors to assist at the site. Florida DR is sending chainsaw units as well.

For Unit Leaders

Bahamas Rebuild Update

Training Manuals

DR Units in South Carolina

These are volunteers trained to help crisis survivors gain a measure of cognitive control after a disaster. Through compassionate hearts, listening ears, and encouraging words, chaplains bring the presence of the Holy Spirit to those in need, encouraging resiliency and introducing them to Jesus Christ. Every type of Disaster Relief unit is encouraged to have a chaplain as a part of their team, and at times there is the need for actual teams of chaplains to respond to a disaster.


This is not a physical unit, but rather teams of volunteers. Sheltering teams open and maintain a shelter for displaced or evacuated families in times of disaster. Often sheltering teams work alongside the Red Cross in offering this ministry. These are usually short-term deployments, but provide a vital service for people who cannot stay in their homes during or after a disaster event.

Children's Response

These units provide a safe and caring place for children (birth – age 7) to receive care and attention while their parents are dealing with the aftermath of a disaster. Children’s Response Teams focus on helping children to begin moving toward recovery from the trauma of the disaster event.

South Carolina has two Children’s Response units, each equipped with furnishings, supplies, and materials to set up a temporary child care center in or near a disaster area.


Shower units provide clean showers for the victims of a disaster and/or for DR volunteers working in the disaster response. The mobile trailers include individual shower stalls with dressing areas, as well as water heaters, towels, and supplies of soaps, shampoos, etc. 

Laundry units are equipped with washers and dryers, so that volunteers can clean the clothes of disaster victims as well as those of DR volunteers working in the disaster area. Although they may be separate units, often laundry units are combined with shower units. 

This ministry is ideal for couples wanting less stressful ways to assist in a disaster response.


These units provide two-way messaging when phone systems are down after a disaster. Volunteers, leaders, and those related to the volunteers back home need a link to the response effort at all times. The units are prepared to use radio systems to provide voice communications, as well as Internet communications via satellite. South Carolina has two Communications units.

Fire Recovery (Ash-Out)

These units assist homeowners after massive fires (like those that occur out west) by removing ash and debris. An important part of this work is sifting through the ashes to look for personal belongings of the fire victims. As with flood recovery (mud-out), ash-out work provides great opportunities to relate one-on-one with disaster survivors.

Incident Management

Command posts are set up on-site in a disaster area to coordinate the work of the various units and teams that respond to the disaster. Personnel in the command post may include an Incident Commander, Logistics or Operations volunteers, and Administrative volunteers. An offsite command post is also maintained at the South Carolina Baptist Convention Building in Columbia during any active disaster responses involving teams from our state.


Assessors are on the ground shortly after a disaster to assess the damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and floods. They are trained to use forms developed by disaster responders to provide information and prioritize jobs for recovery teams. Assessors often are the first point of contact to connect homeowners in need with the volunteers of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief who can help to meet their needs physically and spiritually.

(Baptist Global Response)

This is not a physical unit, but rather teams of volunteers who provide Disaster Relief ministry in other nations. A higher level of training is required of volunteers who wish to serve internationally, and the time frame of a deployment is longer due to the extended travel required to reach the site.


Chainsaw units are a type of recovery team that responds quickly during a time of disaster, removing trees, limbs, and brush from driveways, roofs, and yards. Safety is of utmost importance when working on this unit. Teams include those who know how to use chainsaws and also those who can serve as “brush-pullers” to pick up and pile the cut debris.

South Carolina has more chainsaw units than any other type of unit.

Mass Feeding

The purpose of these units, obviously, is to prepare and serve food at a disaster site. Emphasis is given to cleanliness and safe food handling practices. Depending on the disaster response situation, meals may be served for area residents who do not have electricity to be able to cook at home, for shelter residents, and/or for Disaster Relief teams that are working in the area. 

South Carolina has five mobile Mass Feeding units and numerous support/back-up teams.

Flood Recovery (Mud-Out)

Floods occur more frequently than any other type of disaster, therefore flood recovery units are the most-needed type of DR unit. Teams working in this area are prepared to remove flooring, carpet, and sheet rock to help dry out and sanitize a home after a flood. This ministry is hard and very dirty, but provides great one-on-one opportunities with disaster victims.


This type of recovery team assists with construction tasks, including replacement of floors, walls, roofs, electrical, and plumbing. A variety of skills are needed among members of these teams. A high degree of flexibility is required of volunteers desiring to assist in the rebuild process.

Contact Disaster Relief