SAVANNAH, Ga. – As Hurricane Irma continues to mercilessly rip through the Caribbean, one Georgia family is bracing for impact.
Katie Palmer, her husband and four young children moved from the Metro Atlanta area to the Dominican Republic about a month ago to serve as members of a missionary team associated with the Assembly of God.
Now, in addition to serving the Haitian population in its neighboring country, she and her family are now preparing for Irma’s impact.
News 3 spoke with Palmer via video call on Wednesday prior to the storm passing over the Dominican Republic.
While she said that there was not an initial sense of panic, Palmer said as the storm continued to inch closer, people began to do what they can to ensure safety for their loved ones.
“They put all of their personal documents and stuff in water-resistant, zip lock baggies, plastic baggies, whatever they can and everything just starts getting moved up,” she said. Geography also plays a part in impact of the hurricane for regions of the country, but Palmer said even in the mountain region where her family lives, flooding can be a major issue, especially for lower-income populations.
“The water is not safe to drink here and anytime you have flooding there’s lot of things that can come along with flooding,” she said. “The water is not safe to drink here and anytime you have flooding there’s lot of things that can come along with flooding,” she said, citing illness and disease.
Still, the Palmers are choosing to remain faithful in their calling as missionaries and to serve those in need. Even though flights are grounded and most have “nowhere to go”, Palmer said they wouldn’t leave evacuate the country even if they had the chance.
Palmer told News 3 she’s choosing to let peace, not fear, dominate her emotion.
“One things for sure when things like this happen, it unites people in a way and that’s encouraging to see but we’re not getting suck into the franticness however we’re not ignorant to the seriousness of this storm,” Palmer said.
She told News 3 while she thanks those who are praying for her and her family, that they are in turn doing the same thing, praying loved ones in the path of Katrina, Harvey and now Irma back in the United States.