Hurricane Matthew Spurs Dismas Charities Staff Efforts For Assistance


Dismas Charities has nine facilities that lie within the reach of major hurricanes from the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The peak season for these life-threatening storms runs from January 1 to November 30 – every year. So in response to the Governor’s warning to evacuate in the face of Hurricane Matthew, the Dismas Charities Savannah, Georgia facility put its 51 residents on two buses and, along with Director Katina Wheeler, Assistant Director Brandon Miller and Administrative Assistant Latoya Roberts, began the journey to our Dismas Charities facility in Atlanta to seek shelter from Category 4 Hurricane Matthew. During the 250-mile, four-hour trip the displaced residents made a stop at our Macon facility where they were welcomed with open arms, an oasis to freshen up, a hot meal, and fresh linen for their Atlanta arrival.

Atlanta, Macon Members Of The Dismas Charities Family Answer Distress Call From Savannah Facility

The potential risk to life and property generated by Hurricane Matthew, which claimed 18 lives, brought into sharp focus the true meaning of “The Dismas Family” when one center immediately opened its doors to another in the path of the storm. Dismas Charities Atlanta became the safe haven for 51 residents from the Savannah facility and three staff accompanying them. But that was just part of the story. On their 250-mile trip, the residents and staff made a brief “pit stop” at the Macon, Georgia facility where they were welcomed and treated to food and other comforts. After arriving at the Atlanta facility shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, the staff and residents were met with another meal. The Savannah visitors were able to return the following Monday morning, with the facility suffering limited damage, reports Director Katina Wheeler. When Hurricane Matthew weakened, after causing between $4 and $6 billion in damage in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, it was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. A Category 4 Hurricane, such as Matthew, can generate winds up to 155 mph, caused storm surges of 13-18 feet above normal, cause roof failures on small homes, blow down shrubs, trees and signs, completely destroy mobile homes, and cause massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as six miles for terrain lower than 10 feet above sea level. Hurricane Matthew caused over 500 deaths in Haiti.

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