Hurricane Michael – Helping Neighbors in Need
Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 hurricane, attained peak winds of 155 mph as it made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 10, 2018. The storm weakened to a tropical storm over Georgia, and moved out over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states. The storm included powerful, damaging winds and intense storm surge.
Our on-the-ground teams provide laundry services and product distributions, taking aid into devastated neighborhoods and providing assistance door-to-door. Matthew 25 also shipped truckloads of aid to on-the-ground partners throughout the disaster region in order to help reach as many affected areas as possible.
The following story is representative of the tremendous, personal impact our teams have when interacting with disaster victims during neighborhood distributions. During our Hurricane Michael deployment, the team was driving through one of the badly damaged areas, distributing supplies block by block. The team turned down one of the side streets in this neighborhood and encountered a man outside his damaged home attempting to use a couple of bottles of water to “shower” as best he could.
When our team members approached him to offer him a kit with personal care supplies like soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor as well as multiple cases of water, he was overjoyed. He had been without power for almost 2 weeks and said the Matthew 25 team members were the first people he had seen offering help in his area. He was so grateful for what we gave him that day.
Disasters create emergencies of such severity and magnitude that the resulting combination of deaths, injuries, illness, and property damage cannot be effectively managed with routine procedures or resources. Survivors of catastrophic disasters can become ill due to lack of food, shelter, contaminated water and sanitation systems, lack of refrigeration and untreated injuries. These circumstances lead to infections and outbreaks of disease among victims who are forced into temporary shelters, compounding an already difficult situation. During disasters, the products distributed by Matthew 25: Ministries can provide not only help, but comfort and hope. The provision of basic necessities during these times of tragedy help victims to maintain personal hygiene and reduce illnesses and infections.