Disaster relief update

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Here’s the latest on Texas Baptist disaster relief efforts. Texas Baptist Men is in action as is Baptist Child & Family Services. Buckner is evacuating its retirement and children’s facilities in Beaumont. South Texas Children’s Home has closed its Corpus Christi campus. More details are listed below.

On the blog side, Lee is providing insight to what’s going on in Houston on his blog. Read it here. FBC Rockport has been keeping its congregation up to date here.

As Hurricane Ike takes aim at the Texas coast, Texas Baptists already have begun mobilizing to meet the needs of people who may evacuate South Texas.

At the request of the state, Baptist Child & Family Services has opened shelters in the San Antonio area that can serve as many as 3,000 evacuees with special needs, such as basic medical attention, support or attention.

Twenty churches are prepared to shelter evacuees at the request of BCFS.

Corpus Christi officials called for the evacuation of all special needs individuals from the area. Officials ordered the mandatory evacuation of one zip code in Galveston-area Brazoria County. Some parts of Houston also are being evacuated.

“We do not want to underestimate this storm. We will receive [special needs] evacuees long before Hurricane Ike reaches landfall, the question is only when,” said BCFS president Kevin Dinnin. “This is a task that we take very seriously and an evacuation that will take the entire San Antonio community.”

Texas Baptist Men has activated four teams – the East Texas – Smith Baptist Association will serve in Bryan; the Bluebonnet Baptist Association Unit is serving in San Antonio and will be joined by the State Unit; the East Texas – Gregg Baptist Association Unit will serve in Longview; and another team of volunteers from around the state will serve in Laredo. In all, TBM has been asked to prepare about 46,000 meals a day.

Eight TBM shower units also are serving.

“Right now things are going really well,” said Joe Detterman, who is helping coordinate TBM’s disaster relief work. “We’ve had good response from our teams. We have teams going out to meet people’s needs.”

The South Texas Children’s Home in Corpus Christi is closing its campus. Buckner International is evacuating its retirement and children’s facilities in Beaumont.

“Greg Eubanks and our Southeast Texas children’s staff arrived safely at Camp Buckner very early Thursday morning and our foster families are following their pre-planned evacuation routes,” said Buckner President Ken Hall. “The Calder Woods staff is in process of evacuating now. Fortunately, they had busses reserved just in case, so their advance planning paid off.”

On Sept. 11, Ike was a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds around 100 mph. It is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast Sept. 13 as at least a Category 3 storm. President Bush has declared a state of emergency along the Texas coast.

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