As Hurricane Isaac dumps a foot or more of rain on Louisiana and Mississippi today, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)is identifying disaster response volunteers to travel to the Gulf Coast after the Category I storm weakens and moves north in the next few days.
CRWRC’s Disaster Response Services (DRS) cleanup teams are equipped to remove downed trees, clean up flooded homes, and provide emotional and spiritual support to survivors in communities that are most affected by Hurricane Isaac. CRWRC Disaster Response Services (DRS) managers are also working with local officials and partners to monitor the storm’s progress.
“It’s good to see that the improved levee system in New Orleans is holding up,” says Bill Adams, Director of Disaster Response Services for CRWRC, “and that the improvements across the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina are serving the area well during this weather event. We’re especially thinking of the families we came to know during Katrina response starting seven years ago, and praying for them as well as those in the outlying areas who are still very vulnerable to flooding.”
CRWRC has a 40-year history of responding to disasters in North America, including a 5-year, $6.5 million response to Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. The agency depends on volunteer labor and financial donations to support its rapid response efforts, programs for assessing survivor’s needs, home reconstruction, and community capacity-building.
To accomplish this work, CRWRC works with local and national partners to target disaster survivors in underserved areas who are low-income, elderly, disabled, uninsured, or otherwise unable to recover from the destruction of storms like Isaac.
“In places like Slidell, Louisiana, CRWRC rebuilt Katrina-damaged homes on hurricane-resistant, 10-foot platforms to provide protection from subsequent storms,” Adams says. “We have no doubt that these homes will make it through the storm intact. Some unincorporated areas and small towns along the coast like Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, are protected by embankments but situated on low-lying land that is susceptible to flooding from both the storm surge and the heavy rain.”
CRWRC is seeking financial donations to respond to Hurricane Isaac and other severe storms during the 2012 Hurricane Season. Your U.S. audience can support this work with their financial donations by giving online at www.crwrc.org/donate, or by calling 1-800-552-7972 to make a credit card donation. Checks can be made out to “CRWRC.” Please designate your gift, “Hurricanes 2012,” in the memo line and mail to: CRWRC, 2850 Kalamazoo Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49560.
In Canada, donate online at www.crwrc.org/donate or call 1-800-730-3490. Checks made out to CRWRC and designated "Hurricanes 2012" can be mailed to CRWRC, 3475 Mainway STN LCD 1, Burlington, ON, L7R 3Y8.
Members of the press wishing to interview CRWRC-DRS director Bill Adams, call 616-560-2782. Or call CRWRC Director Andrew Ryskamp at 616-498-0816.
For more information about this or other CRWRC programs, call Beth DeGraff, media contact, at 616-648-7821 or 1-800-552-7972.
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