Monday P.M. from Birmingham

Today, Hurricane Sally has rapidly strengthened into a CAT-2 storm and now presents a major threat to Gulf Coast communities from Louisiana all the way to Florida.

That's four states that could potentially be impacted by hurricane winds, up to two feet of rain, 10+ feet of storm surge and flooding.

I just parked our Mercy Chefs deployment Command Post in Birmingham where we are pre-staging our resources. Our team is working as fast as possible to get the equipment re-tooled and ready to go again. I'm going to change out my suitcases in preparation for what could be another long and critically important deployment.

This comes just as we are transitioning our Hurricane Laura deployment to long-term recovery. In all, Mercy Chefs served over 93,000 hot meals and distributed 38,000 meals of groceries to disaster victims. We are already working on plans to support the ongoing rebuilding effort there, but with another hurricane imminent, we have quickly switched to pre-deployment preparations.

This storm will likely create different and possibly immense challenges because it is slow moving and could dump two feet of rain on an area that we already know is prone to both storm surges and flooding. If you can help us financially today it would be a great blessing. Our costs in response to Laura greatly exceeded our expectations and now we have little time to get our mobile kitchen equipment ready for this potential deployment. Go here to make your tax-deductible gift.

Most importantly, please pray for the people of the Gulf region -- everywhere from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle. Thank you for your ongoing support, and God bless.

Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs

P.S. My team prepared a special video highlighting all that your support made possible in Lake Charles and surrounding communities over the past two weeks. Thank you again your faithful partnership with us. Go here to watch:

Image source: NOAA satellite imagery