Hurricane Irma Preparations, Response, and Recovery

We are currently in the process of preparing for a potential major hurricane event here in the Naples area, Hurricane Irma.  If you are reading this bulletin on paper, I am hopeful that the storm has passed us by without causing too much damage or flooding for our Parish Family, both here on the campus and in your own homes.  I spent five years working for FEMA after Katrina, including helping the Army National Guard re-establish their headquarters outside of New Orleans, so while responding to natural and man-made disasters is one of my experiences, I always try to stay optimistic as to the outcomes.

I was saddened to find out that St. John was not authorized as a shelter location by FEMA or the Red Cross due to our proximity to the water and our flood zone designation.  I was provided with the list of FEMA-approved shelters for any of you that are still in the area.  Please consider going to these locations if you are in any danger at all, or after the storm your home is no longer livable.

Communication is key to a successful response to any disaster.  We have several mechanisms we would like to use with you to ensure you know what is happening here at St. John and the area:

  1. Email Communication: We have a (usually) weekly email communication we send out. If you are not signed up, you can do so at:
  2. Social Media: We use Twitter for instantaneous and urgent messages as well: @sjecc
  3. Phone Line: We will put emergency messages on our main phone line: (239) 566-8740

St. John has an all-hazards approach to Disaster Planning and we have had a campus-wide plan in place since I was entrusted with this responsibility.  The most important part of preparing and responding to an incident of this magnitude is always to put your safety and the safety of your loved ones first.  The same goes for the next phase of the response we will be undertaking very soon: Recovery.  Recovery is the point where we will assess the building and grounds of our campus to discover what has occurred and what we can start again.  It saddens me that we have to close our church for Masses this Sunday and Monday, but that is for the safety of our whole Parish Family, including our Ministers, our Clergy, and most importantly, you.  We hope to be open for Masses on Tuesday, September 12, and we will let you know as soon as possible.

God Bless You and God Speed to all our Parish Family and all those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

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