Currently, Inspiritus is responding to Hurricane Dorian in the state of North Carolina. We have increased our team and capacity and have hired Sherry Buresh as our Director of Disaster Response.
We are thrilled to welcome Sherry Buresh to our team to lead this effort. Sherry brings her extensive experience in leading countless disaster responses, including:
Pilger, Nebraska Tornadoes
Nashville, Tennessee Floods
Gatlinburg, Tennessee Fires
Sherry's career in disaster relief began following Hurricane Katrina, when she deployed a team of 60 volunteers to a base called Camp Victor at Christus Victor Lutheran Church,Ocean Springs, MS, where she worked alongside the Rev. Dr. P. Morgan Gordy, Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville, TN.
Sherry was on the job with Inspiritus for three days when we first got wind of Hurricane Dorian. She rapidly put together a plan with little to no resources, and set us in motion to prepare to respond. Our long-term recovery staff were already deployed along the Georgia coast and in South Georgia, helping homeowners who have yet to recover from Hurricane Irma and Michael. Sherry was especially concerned about how Hurricane Dorian might impact those vulnerable homes.
“No two disasters are alike. Everything can change in a split second, and you have to tap into the best resources you have at any given moment,” says Sherry.
With her leading the way, Inspiritus quickly established a Dorian Response lead volunteer team, ready to deploy and setup a volunteer base along the Georgia coast, if needed. As Dorian made its slow journey along the southeastern US coastline, Sherry had staff calling on our clients all along the coast, preparing them for the storm and checking on them the morning after. We were relieved to learn our clients were safe from additional damages.
However, our attention quickly shifted to the North Carolina coast, where Ocracoke Island suffered 6-8 foot storm surges and hundreds of homes in the region were damaged. Many families impacted by Dorian in North Carolina are facing a devastating loss of hope right now, especially those who have yet to recover from last year's Hurricane Florence.
“It’s the combination of partners which matters. The community effort of all showing up...no one can take care of a disaster alone. It takes a village, as they say. I follow my gut instincts and thankfully, have built a good network and loving partnerships all over the world,” says Sherry.
Right now, Sherry and her team are operating a base camp along the North Carolina coast, and have a thick binder full of homes in need. Most of these homeowners are low-to-no income women or men with disabilities, many are senior citizens who are alone, and all are suffering exposure to unhealthy living situations due to mold and water damage that grows worse each week.
When Sherry is not deployed or training partner groups, you will find her enthusiastically sharing her “inspirational stories of lives helped and transformed during crisis.” She and her husband, also an emergency responder, have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.
Inspiritus is grateful to have Sherry guiding our teams through our Dorian Response efforts, especially with more inclement weather, and hurricanes on the horizon.
Interesting read: Sherry was featured in Popular Mechanics by a journalist who volunteered with her after Hurricane Irma and Maria disaster response in the Virgin Islands. Warning: This article may inspire you to volunteer with Sherry in our next Inspiritus disaster response. Click here to read.
Inspiritus needs donations to help us respond to this latest disaster. Donate here and select disaster response to direct your funds specifically to our disaster.
If you’d like to volunteer with Inspiritus and our response team-fill out our short application here