Chaplains Join Texas Division of Emergency Management Response Team Called "Task Force Austin"
Contact: Erik Ogren, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 704-577-2109, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- With Hurricane Alex, the first named storm of the 2010 hurricane season, churning in the Gulf of Mexico, the crisis-trained chaplains of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team have deployed to Texas and are prepared to provide emotional and spiritual care to those impacted by the storm.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a part of a proactive official response being coordinated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The network, which is called "Task Force Austin," includes several hundred responders from many different organizations. The initial role of the chaplains will be to support the first responders, and then assist the survivors as the storm recedes.
Although it has deployed to several events in Texas, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, this is the first time that the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has collaborated with the state of Texas' official response network of government and non-governmental organizations in the organized task force structure.
"We have been watching Alex take form in the Gulf of Mexico for several days now, and -- while it's unclear at this point where and how hard the storm will hit -- it is clear that some people's lives will be turned upside down in the face of the hurricane," said Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. "It's a privilege for us to stand alongside the state of Texas and this well-organized network as we provide emotional and spiritual care in the wake of the storm."
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed to 10 different disaster areas in 2010, and is currently ministering in Haiti following the earthquake earlier this year and in Brentwood, Tenn., after the recent massive flooding in the Nashville region.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of chaplains across 40 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has deployed following more than 100 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is celebrating 60 years of ministry in 2010, directs a wide range of domestic and international ministries, including: large-scale festivals led by evangelists Franklin Graham and Will Graham; Dare to Be a Daniel, a youth evangelism training project; My Hope World Evangelism Through Television; the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains; and many others through print, television, telephone, radio and the Internet. For more information, please visit www.billygraham.org. Get BGEA news updates on Twitter @ Twitter.com/BGEAMediaPR.