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Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ bounces back after Irma

By Staff | Sep 21, 2017

Before Hurricane Irma even made landfall in Southwest Florida Sept. 10, Rev. Dr. John H. Danner of Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ and his staff were already prepared.

“We have a multi-page hurricane plan that’s very well-developed. It’s been honed over several years. In terms of getting ready for the storm, we have virtually a cook book – a step-by-step approach as to what needs to be done, who needs to be contacted and things that need to be done to the property, things that need to be turned off and things that need to be put away. Part of the plans includes taking off-site records that are irreplaceable and plans for an off-site office if we should need it,” Dr. Danner said.

Dr. Danner did end up needing an off-site place to worship due to the power being out for a week. The Community House stepped up and let the church use their facility for their Sunday service.

“We were very nicely received by the Community House,” Dr .Danner said. “We’re very grateful.”

After the storm, Dr. Danner and his staff made dozens of visits to parishioners, many of which lived by themselves to make sure they were OK.

“That was an important part of what we were able to do,” Dr. Danner said.

The church itself sustained minor damage following Irma. Dr. Danner said they had downed trees and minor roof damage which has already been fixed. As of last week, things were already back to normal.

To help out the victims of Irma, the church has donated 40 $25 Publix gift cards to F.I.S.H. The church also met with Disaster Relief Services on Sunday to see how else they can be of assistance both locally and nationally – particularly in Immokalee and Puerto Rico.