Members Survive Disasters
December 1999

“Members Survive Disasters,” Ensign, Dec. 1999, 66–67

Members Survive Disasters

  • After a recent earthquake in Turkey and flooding in China, the Church donated a total of $70,000 in cash assistance to ambassadors representing both nations in Washington, D.C. “The ambassadors were very appreciative of our contributions,” said Ann Santini, the Church’s director of international affairs. “Our hearts go out to the victims of these terrible tragedies.”

  • Heavy rains from a tropical storm caused serious flooding in northeastern Venezuela during August. The homes of 40 member families were damaged, but no Church property was damaged. Local Church leaders used fast-offering funds to assist victims.

  • In September Hurricane Floyd caused flooding along the U.S. East Coast and prompted the nation’s largest-ever peacetime evacuation. No Church members or missionaries were killed or injured, but at least 20 homes of members were destroyed and hundreds of members were evacuated when floodwaters moved across parts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The flooding caused power and telephone outages, drowned thousands of farm animals, and contaminated drinking water. As far north as the Morristown New Jersey Stake, about 15 homes of members were damaged.

    The bishops’ storehouse in Atlanta sent emergency supplies—including generators, cots, blankets, water, food, and disposable diapers—to hard-hit eastern North Carolina, where an estimated 100 member families were living with friends, other members, or in public shelters. The North America East Area Presidency approved donation of an additional two truckloads of food, soap, quilts, and other supplies to be distributed by the Salvation Army. During the storm and flooding, four Church meetinghouses were used as shelters for members and others.

    “The members are doing well,” reported J. Horace Mizelle, first counselor in the Goldsboro North Carolina Stake. “People who were not affected are helping them, going from home to home and going to their places of business and helping them clean those also.” He said he expected about 200 volunteers from the Raleigh and Durham North Carolina Stakes to help in the weeks after the flooding.

  • An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale killed more than 2,000 people in Taiwan in September. Three members were injured, and the homes of at least 50 members were seriously damaged or destroyed. No missionaries were hurt, and no Church property was reported damaged. Three meetinghouses were used as emergency shelters. Local Church leaders used fast-offering funds to purchase water, food, and bedding for members in need, especially in the hardest-hit areas of Puli and Nant’ou. The First Presidency approved a $25,000 donation to the Taiwan Earthquake Relief Fund.

This member’s home was one of many damaged by hurricane-related floodwaters in North Carolina. (Photo by J. Horace Mizelle.)