Incident Command Center hub for mobile kitchen, shower trailer, flood recovery and mud-out teams, and chaplain teams
BOULDER, Colo. – Oklahoma Disaster Relief volunteers have been assigned to oversee recovery efforts following massive flooding along the 130-mile stretch of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies.
At the request of officials with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), Oklahoma Disaster Relief Director Sam Porter has been asked to set up an Incident Command Center at East Boulder Baptist Church. Plans called for Oklahoma units to be in the field by Thursday, Sept. 19.
“Being a partner state with Colorado Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, our teams from Oklahoma are in route to Boulder to assist with this historic flood,” Porter said. “There are currently three Baptist sites established to oversee recovery for the victims. NAMB has a Central Operation Center in Longmont, Colo. and Missouri Baptists are taking the area from Longmont, Colo. to Estes Park, Colo.”
The flood zone has encompassed 17 Colorado counties making it the size of Delaware. Eight deaths have been reported and more than 300 people are listed as missing from the floods.
“Several towns and communities became islands with no way in or out,” Porter said. “Many roads have been cut off or destroyed and the National Guard has been performing air rescues to help evacuate entire towns. Some towns were cut in half by the massive overflow of the rivers.”
Oklahoma’s Incident Command Center will be set up with a full Incident Command Management Team consisting of six to seven people who will handle the administration of all the clean-up and ministry activity.
In addition to the command center, there are also Oklahoma mobile kitchens poised to feed all of the volunteers serving in recovery, Oklahoma’s largest shower trailer, flood recovery and mud-out teams, and chaplain teams there to coordinate ministry outreach.
“We plan on sending one flood recovery and mud-out team per week and continue until the job is complete,” Porter said. “Our management team will request mud-out teams from many other states to come in, especially for the next 60 days before major winter weather sets in.
“We like to have at least one chaplain with every flood recovery team at all time,” Porter said. “This will take about 50 total volunteers from Oklahoma each week beside the others we will manage coming from all over the United States to assist in this massive flood recovery effort.”
Oklahoma Disaster Relief teams have been in Colorado since Saturday, Sept. 14 with a mobile kitchen and support truck providing meals to area residents displaced by the flooding. The kitchen is staffed with a 20-person volunteer team, and with the help of the support truck, will be equipped to provide up to 8,000 meals daily.
“I want to thank Oklahoma Baptists and those across America in advance for praying for the volunteers leading this effort, and especially for the 16,000 homeowners wondering how they will ever recover,” Porter said. “That is why we are going, to bring hope to the hopeless.”
For more information about Oklahoma Baptists’ Disaster Relief Operation, or to make a tax-deductible gift, visit www.okdisasterhelp.com.
About the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) consists of 1,800-plus Southern Baptist churches throughout the state. The mission of the BGCO is to assist the local church to fulfill its Biblical mission and be a channel for cooperative ministry in Oklahoma, the nation and the world.