CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 30, 2012 – Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have been deployed to multiple disaster sites along the East Coast of the United States as the hybrid Hurricane Sandy “superstorm” caused unprecedented damage. According to the latest news reports, 16 people have been killed in seven states and some 7.4 million people are without power. It is estimated that damage from the storm could exceed $20 billion.
Chaplains trained in crisis-response deployed this morning from Charlotte with three mobile office units, and are tentatively headed for northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. After an initial assessment, additional chaplains will arrive from across the United States later this week.
“We all watched this unique ‘superstorm’ coming from far off, and could see the potentially devastating course,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “Sadly, it seems that the worst fears were realized and millions of people are now hurting as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I’m not sure that there are words that can adequately describe the enormity of this massive disaster. We’ll do all we can in the face of this catastrophe to offer emotional and spiritual care and the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ.”
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team recently concluded its deployments to three areas in Louisiana following the impact of Hurricane Isaac in late August. Chaplain teams spent several weeks in LaPlace, LaCombe and Plaquemines Parish, La. Thus far in 2012, chaplains have deployed to 22 disaster areas in 14 states.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of Christian chaplains across 48 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has responded to more than 145 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings.