WACO, TX (FOX 44) – As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, state and local agencies in Texas are getting ready to deploy and provide support.
This includes Central Texans gathering resources for Cuba, reports show one million people on the island left without power after impact.
Peter Dyson of Waco and Travis Caywood of China Spring drove to Dallas Monday morning for First Baptist Church Woodway to pick up building materials, medical equipment, and food to support Cubans impacted by Hurricane Ian.
The items are now in Houston ready to be shipped.
For over 20 years First Baptist Church of Woodway has done ministry and humanitarian work in Cuba.
Initially sending relief for a mechanical explosion on the island, Hurricane Ian made them change direction.
“Things are going to be multiplied exponentially now with the current storm that’s hit in Florida and it’s hitting Cuba,” said Tom Hill, leader of Waco Summer Youth Ministry.
With help from Hill, Rick Caywood ministry, and other churches, eight shipping containers are filled ready for those in need.
“Whether it’s lentils or beans, whether it’s medical supplies, whether it’s clothes, whether it’s shoes,” said Hill.
Texas Baptist Men assisted in donating goods and the organization has volunteers on standby to help on the mainland.
“We’ve put all of our volunteers on alert because with the hurricane, you have a mass feeding needs, you have chainsaw needs, and you have mudout needs,” said David Wells, Texas Baptist Men director of disaster relief
Waves of 40 to 50 Texas Baptist Men serve in disaster areas for 10 days.
Their work goes on for nearly three weeks until impacted communities recover.
“Usually we’ll have one major one a year that’ll usually hit us and then we’ll respond to two or three others,” said Wells. “This year is a little bit slower, which we praise the Lord for Louisiana and Mississippi and all that. They’ve had enough of that for a while.”
Today, Governor Abbott deployed 45 personnel a part of Texas A&M Task Force 1 to Florida with four boats and two canines to do search and rescue among other tasks.
Texas Baptist Men are expected to be in Florida next week to aid in recovery efforts.
The shipping containers from Woodway First Baptist will take a month before landing in Cuba.