DAYTONA, Fla.—Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) is serving in Daytona, Fla., an area that initially was overlooked, regarding areas affected by Hurricane Ian.
Sam Porter, interim state DR director, knew of the possibilities that Florida may have a region not getting immediate attention from national leaders, considering how much widespread damage the hurricane caused, especially in the southwest area of Florida. He also knew Oklahoma DR would be ready to help.
“You’re going to find a ‘pocket’ somewhere that is going to be overlooked,” Porter said he told his national cohort. Porter recently retired after serving as national director of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. “We are ready to go. Oklahoma will take that ‘pocket,’ wherever it is.”
As Porter predicted, he got a call needing a DR team in Daytona. “When the hurricane reached Daytona and that part of the state, it was a Category 1, with 85-90 mph winds,” he said. “Because of the rain that was already there, hundreds of homes in that county and even up to Jacksonville were affected.”
Headquartered at Dayton, Fla., First, Oklahoma Baptist DR currently has 62 team members serving that area.
“There’s not a lot of wind damage,” Porter said. “We have one chainsaw team and two mud-out teams, primarily doing flood recovery.”
Porter made an appeal that more volunteers are needed to serve in Florida. “We need willing workers to go in and gut out houses,” he said. “We have (DR) training Saturday (Oct. 15). If they get trained Saturday, they can go.”
Disaster Relief Orientation and Credentialing will be at the DR TEAM Center in Okarche, 7180 N.W. Expressway, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Porter said DR would like to have 35-40 more trained volunteers. “If they are willing to go and work hard, there’s blessings they will never get over,” he said.
To find other ways to help with DR, including making a financial donation, visit okdisasterhelp.org.