Mid-Atlantic District Responding in Partnership with Brethren Disaster Ministry (BDM)
In October 2021, tidal flooding on the Chesapeake Bay inundated streets, homes, and businesses in Maryland’s Somerset and Dorchester counties. Although approximately 150 homes were flooded, this was a "low-attention disaster", meaning the news of the event and the impacts did not make the mainstream national or state media. The damage was not enough to meet the threshold for a federal disaster declaration so there were no FEMA funds available to help survivors rebuild. State funding was also not available. The recovery has primarily been supported by the Eastern Shore Long Term Recovery Group and the Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MDVOAD).
BDM and the Mid-Atlantic District (MAD) both participate in MDVOAD. The district often supports MDVOAD’s local responses by providing volunteers and leaders to complete work in areas impacted by disasters. The Maryland tidal flooding event presented an opportunity for BDM to partner with MAD in such a response. To leverage resources and funding to support MAD’s work, BDM staff applied for and received a grant from National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and Lowes Home Improvement. This included $30,000 in Lowes gift cards to cover the costs of construction materials that the families were unable to purchase on their own. The grant also included $4,200 to help cover some volunteer travel and housing costs.
The volunteers that responded were recruited by MAD District Disaster Coordinator, Jeff McKee. They typically worked for four workdays and were primarily from various areas of the district who either traveled and stayed overnight or who lived locally and traveled daily to the jobsites. Several volunteers from the Western and Southern Pennsylvania districts also served during the BDM weeks. In total, 35 volunteers served during nine weeks to support three families with their recovery. Even though the grant is completed, the Mid-Atlantic District is still planning to coordinate future trips to serve in the area in 2023.
Top images by Dave Jupin
Inset photo courtesy of BDM
Below Image, MAD Group – photo courtesy of Jeff McKee