East Coast LDS leaders encourage members to prepare for superstorm
Roughly four hours before the storm was due to hit Atlantic City, N.J., Morristown New Jersey Stake President Bruce D. Jones said they had not yet lost power. He said his biggest concerns were the potential widespread loss of power and flooding of the major rivers that run through the stake.
Although the water level is low now, the predicted rainfall may cause the rivers to overflow, he said. However, because they have experienced similar states of emergency, they are well-prepared to meet the storm.
"Weve kind of perfected the drill, I think," President Jones said.
Starting Friday, every priesthood leader contacted their home teachers, who contacted those they taught to assess needs. The members in his area know to report to their home and visiting teachers first, who will report
to their proper authorities. To ensure communication, he has a conference call scheduled with each of the bishops every night this week.
By Tuesday or Wednesday, he said, the members of his stake will be able to reach out and help by activating teams of people to respond as needed. The ward is also equipped with equipment, power saws, shovels, rakes, brooms, dust masks and other supplies to assist with the volunteer effort.
Baltimore Maryland Stake President Craig T. Halsey, said they have been in contact with Elder Jack N. Gerard, the Area Seventy for this area.
Although there are power outages in several areas, everyone was reported safe and no homes reported damaged. He has an outreach system in place for those with more immediate needs. Because several areas in Baltimore are subject to flooding, they will likely need to enact those emergency response plans.
President Kevin B. Rollins of the Boston Massachussetts Stake has been in contact with all the bishops in his area and ensured every ward has an emergency plan. He said they are mostly concerned with single parents and older members in the stake and have made efforts to make sure they are taken care of.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Stake President Jordan P. Peterson said members of this stake have reached out to the elderly, widows, single moms and the physically challenged. He also said some families have taken in those who did not have a place to stay. His stake has also been contacted by the Red Cross and Church members volunteered at shelters late Sunday night. He has also organized ward groups who are ready to help with the cleanup in the aftermath of the storm.
As of the time of publication, there was steady rain and heavy winds reported and some power outages in the affected areas, but no reports of injuries to residents or serious damage to property.
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