Recent Hurricanes Boost DR Training
The devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate has generated a lot of interest in serving through Disaster Relief (DR). When South Carolina DR held their fall training event recently at White Oak Conference Center, 476 people attended – the most at one event since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and more than double the highest attendance of the past five years.
The majority of those attending the fall training were brand new to DR. They attended the required “Introduction to Disaster Relief” class, where they learned what to expect and what to take on a deployment, turned in paperwork for their background check, and had their picture taken for their ID badge. Then they attended classes in various ministry areas of their choice, based on their interests and abilities, such as damage assessment, child care, mass feeding, mud-out, and more.
Returning volunteers attended training classes as a “refresher” in areas in which they have previously been trained, or took classes in areas that are new to them. Since DR credentials expire after three years, many returning volunteers had new ID badges made so they can be ready to deploy when the next disaster strikes.
In a general session that brought everyone together, volunteer and DR Task Force member Dwight Herring was the featured speaker, telling of his recent DR trip to Greece, where he served in a refugee camp. SC DR Director Randy Creamer urged volunteers to continue to meet needs as “the hands and feet of Jesus” to bring help, hope, and healing to people affected by disasters.
The next Disaster Relief trainings will be in the spring: March 17, 2018 at Walterboro First Baptist, and April 21, 2018 at Mt. Airy Baptist in Easley.