Disaster News Network Print This
 

Response expected to be swift

As Frances loomed, disaster response groups in Florida planned ways to help what could be seriously stricken communities.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 3, 2004


"The hurricane will not hinder the child care volunteers from continuing to provide the care so desperately needed by the children affected by Hurricane Charley and now Hurricane Frances."

—Helen Stonesifer


As Frances loomed, disaster response groups in Florida planned ways to help what could be seriously stricken communities.

Disaster response organizations still helping survivors of Hurricane Charley which struck the state last month, evacuated volunteers for safety - but vowed they'd be back soon to help communities recover.

For residents already traumatized by Hurricane Charley's devastation, Frances could cause a serious emotional reaction as well, particularly in children.

Church of the Brethren Disaster Child Care teams - evacuated this week - vowed to return as soon as it was safe to do so. "The hurricane will not hinder the child care volunteers from continuing to provide the care so desperately needed by the children affected by Hurricane Charley and now Hurricane Frances," reported Helen Stonesifer, director of the program. "All four teams will return to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross centers to reopen the child care centers."

Church World Service (CWS) - and many of its partner organizations - planned to expand existing appeals for monetary donations. "If Hurricane Charley-affected communities are impacted yet again by Hurricane Frances, needs will be immense," CWS reported.

But while they have been carefully watching wind speeds, preparing for the potential of major flooding and tracking the storms, disaster response groups have also already been thinking about how to meet long-term needs - those that linger months and years after Frances.

And that process will begin as soon as it is safe. CWS - and many other faith-based groups - indicated they would have emergency staff personnel deployed over the weekend to begin initial needs assessments. Of particular concern to the disaster response organizations will be people with special needs including farm workers, small agricultural business owners and workers, the elderly, children, and low-income residents.

Response leaders said they will be asking for more assistance from the public - and that cash donations from across the nation are the best way to help. "We are going to have to reach out to the next rung of help, because of what I believe will be a greater width of destruction," said Jim Boler, acting conference minister for the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ.

From a national perspective, double disasters will no doubt stretch the financial resources of many faith-based disaster response groups. "Just as back-to-back major hurricanes put a strain on the church's human resources, I'm concerned that they will also stretch our financial resources," said Stan Hankins of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. "Considering that some judicatories (regional groups of churches) may be impacted by both storms complicates the situation."

Bill Adams, head of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's North America Disaster Response Services, said he believed public compassion - ignited after Charley's devastation - would continue for those affected by Hurricane Frances. "I am hearing from people with a huge amount of empathy for the residents of Florida."


Related Topics:

'Edge' offers cloud alternative

Mold is long-term flood issue

Volunteers sought for TX response


More links on Hurricanes

More links on Disaster Relief

Find this article at:

http://www.disasternews.net/news/article.php?articleid=1894

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: