CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 4, 2019—Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are on their way to Alabama today following a devastating series of tornadoes that ripped through several small communities in the southeast this weekend. Authorities have reported numerous casualties as a result of the storm, and the number could rise as search and rescue teams continue their efforts. One of the twisters was estimated to be about half-a-mile wide and several miles long.
“Tornadoes are unique in that they will strike with very little notice, changing your whole world in a matter of minutes. The trauma being experienced throughout this area—especially with the families who lost loved ones—is intense and heartbreaking,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “Our goal is to come alongside them, bringing the hope and comfort of Jesus.”
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is deploying in coordination with Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian disaster relief organization also headed by Franklin Graham. Together the two ministries will address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who have been affected.
“Our hearts go out to those in the path of a series of tornadoes that touched down in Alabama and Georgia. Tragically, at least 23 people are confirmed dead in Lee County, Alabama,” said Graham on his Facebook page. “Pray for the families of those who were killed in these deadly storms. And pray for first responders and those involved in search and rescue operations.”
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team continues to minister in Panama City, Fla., following 2018’s Hurricane Michael, and in Butte County, Calif., where they have brought comfort to more than 8,000 people since the devastatingly deadly Camp Fire in and around Paradise, Calif., in November 2018.
For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit www.billygraham.org/rrt. Updates can also be found at www.facebook.com/RRTChaplains.
About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed by Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has since grown into an international network of chaplains in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 300 disaster sites, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.