VM Disaster Response Following Hurricane Florence
- Hurricane Florence caused an estimated $16.7 billion in property damages.
- VMs in North Carolina have provided one-on-one help to over 2,300 people.
- The team of VMs repaired 115 homes, removed 120 fallen trees and moved over 95 tons of debris.
- Nearly 7,000 people have been trained by VMs in disaster sites in the past year.
Last month, Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas (North and South Carolina). The storm spawned several tornadoes, dropped a record-breaking 35 inches (91 cm) of rain and caused an estimated 53 deaths. This left thousands of people in a state of shock and without homes.
Supported by an IAS grant, VMs were immediately deployed to the areas of major damage to provide help to those affected by the disaster.
While in North Carolina, they teamed up with local churches and the community to help clear the debris and rebuild homes. They repaired 115 houses and moved over 95 tons of debris, thus helping families return to their homes.
One Sunday morning, the VMs visited a local church and adjacent school where they helped to clear out the fallen trees and debris so the buildings could be used for shelters. The reverend of the church told her congregation that the VMs had been sent from God and said to the VMs, “We are blessed to have you here with us. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Without you, this would have been an empty church.”
An elderly man saw the VMs helping his neighbor clear debris and asked for their assistance. He said that he had been trying for days to get a tree off his house and could not do it himself. He offered to pay for their services. When he was told they were volunteers from the Church of Scientology and that they would help for free, he got teary-eyed and said he couldn’t believe it as he had never gotten anything free in his entire life.
Rapper, CCHR psych buster and humanitarian Chill E.B. is from North Carolina and he and his wife joined the VMs on the ground to assist in the disaster response. One day, he found an elderly man in despair whose house had been destroyed and he did not know how he would care for his family. Chill E.B. and the VMs helped to save his belongings from the flood. Afterwards he told the VMs, “I was in such despair and at the lowest point of my life, with everything going wrong. I prayed to the Lord to send me a ray of light. You then showed up in yellow!” The man was so grateful, he joined the VMs to help others.
The VMs in North Carolina personally helped over 2,300 people in need. The continued Volunteer Minister disaster relief is made possible through your support of the IAS.