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Conference responds to Michigan storms

Tornado damage

The Michigan Conference mobilizes following last week’s tornadoes and floods that devastated large sections of the state and needs your help.

The Michigan Conference Disaster Response Team is actively engaged and partnering with state and local officials to identify and deploy resources to areas in need following two days of severe storms, August 24 and 25. Seven tornadoes generated various levels of damage on Thursday and Friday, including downed power lines and trees, structural damage, and significant flooding across the lower half of the state, including Kent, Eaton, Ingham, Livingston, Wayne, and Monroe Counties. The storms took the lives of two persons and left over 400,000 households without power, including both area conference offices. Current estimates of power outages are under 80,000.

“The best way to communicate unmet needs is to dial 2-1-1 (or 844-875-9211),” said Interim Co-Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Robert Miller. “We anticipate a substantial need for debris removal and the contribution of cleanup and personal hygiene kits as emergency response crews clear areas for safe access.” He added that churches should not self-deploy but work with the coordinated efforts of conference and community disaster response.

The powerful storms on Friday arrived just one day following torrential rains that left many parts of Metro Detroit under water. After the Storm, the Michigan Conference’s affiliated nonprofit that provides long-term recovery and support, is assessing the damage with help from the Michigan State Police and other agencies. After the Storm had already been organizing cleanup efforts for flooding that occurred in 2021 when this new flooding occurred.  Volunteers are needed for that cleanup scheduled for October (see link below.)

The storm recovery provides an important reminder of the need for all churches to have a disaster plan in place for flooding, fire, power loss, and other natural disasters. Review our disaster preparedness toolbox for helpful guidelines (click here). The Michigan Conference is preparing for its biannual disaster kit rally this fall, from September 10 through October 22. Midwest Mission, the long-time disaster ministry partner in Pawnee, IL, needs help replenishing its stock as the United States enters the peak of hurricane and tornado season. The fall rally will focus on collecting Personal Dignity Kits and some common items found in other kits. These kits and supplies are the most popular requests that Midwest Mission receives and can be sent abroad with few restrictions to communities in need (see link below.)


    • Pray for those affected by this storm and for those killed or injured.
    • You are encouraged to donate to After the Storm.
    • Check in with vulnerable persons in impacted areas who may need food, water, cooler shelter, or support, especially older adults.
    • Donate supplies for this and future disasters during the upcoming disaster kit rally, September 10 through October.
    • Volunteer in October to help those impacted by previous storms in Metro Detroit who are still recovering more than two years later.

Last Updated on September 6, 2023

The Michigan Conference