In the spring of 2010, eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island were hit by two storms. Each delivered over a foot of rain. We worked for over two years following those floods helping oversee long-term recovery. Here’s what we learned.
In national disasters, faith-based organizations, non profits and government agencies have worked out a division of labor. Like the body of Christ metaphor, each organization and agency takes on a role that contributes to the whole of disaster recovery. In Texas and Louisiana, search and rescue work will continue, coordinated by local agencies. As flood waters recede some groups will come in for ‘muck out’ work. Some faith-based organizations have taken on the role of initial post-flood clean up. They have invested in the equipment and training to come in and clean out flood damaged belongings and house materials. They’ll clean and sanitize. Other faith-based groups will follow to determine estimates for repair or demolition and replacement.
During all of this, other groups will help homeowners begin the process and paperwork needed for insurance claims and government assistance through FEMA. Still others will begin to form Long Term Recovery Groups to work with homeowners as they live into the new normal that follows a disaster. Their work begins and continues long after the camera crews have left. In Massachusetts, it was our UCC that helped form and lead the Long Term Recovery Groups.
How can you help:
Two articles this week from our national UCC and NaVOAD (National Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster) will give you updates and advice on ways to help. You can find them here and here.
There will be an increasing need for cleanup buckets through Church World Service. Read our article on this to learn about the collection in our MACUCC.
Here’s why we encourage you to send funds through the UCC:
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