Hurricane Winds from Katrina knocked over this tree crushing this Mobile home. The residents had evacuated. Many Mobile homes homes are damaged and residents are displaced. FEMA Photo/ MARVIN NAUMAN, Davie, Fla., August 27, 2005.
NEW YORK, August 29, 2005—Hurricane Katrina made landfall this morning as a powerful category 4 storm. As the nation watches and waits to see the damage Katrina inflicts on Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and other states as it moves inland, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is ready to respond.
UMCOR Disaster Response executive, Tom Hazelwood has been in contact with the bishops and disaster coordinators in the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama-West Florida Annual Conferences since before Katrina made landfall in Louisana. As soon as the storm moves out of these regions UMCOR will begin working with annual conferences to set up call centers and begin making assessments. The assessment process will take days to begin in some regions due to the extensive damage. “In the hardest-hit areas it may be a week before we can get in to make assessments,” commented Hazelwood. UMCOR has been working with the Florida conference as it continues to recover from Katrina’s initial strike in southern Florida.
In the coming days UMCOR will be working with annual conference personnel to help them coordinate their response from receiving volunteers and making assessments to distributing relief supplies. Hazelwood will arrive in the hurricane affected area later this week to assist in the disaster recovery process. “As the storm clears and the media focuses on the major metropolitan areas affected by Katrina, UMCOR will be focusing on its mission to seek out the people left most vulnerable by the storm who often live in outlying rural areas,” says Hazelwood. “We seek to help people who might be otherwise overlooked.”
UMCOR’s center for relief supplies, UMCOR Sager Brown, located in Baldwin, LA, closed today in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. UMCOR Sager Brown is about 50 miles northwest of New Orleans and, while affected by the hurricane, hopes to reopen tomorrow. All supplies sent to assist in huricane recovery should be sent to UMCOR Sager Brown. See details in side bar.
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How You Can Help
Your generous gift to UMCOR Advance #982523, Hurricanes 2005 Global, will help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. You can give online at www.methodistrelief.org, at your church, over the phone at 1-800-554-8583, or by mailing a check directly to: UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. Checks should be written to UMCOR with the Advance number and name written on the memo line of your check. If you would prefer that your funds to go to recovery in a specific region, please note that on your donation.
There is an urgent need for both health kits and school kits. These collections of everyday items will help families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The health kits contain items such as a toothbrush, wash cloth, and soap. The school kits contain items like paper, pencils, and items to help children start school. For assembly and shipping instructions, call UMCOR Sager Brown at 1-800-814-8765 or visit the UMCOR website. You may also give a financial donation to to UMCOR's Material Resource Ministry, Advance #901440 to purchase kit supplies that the Depot staff and volunteers will use to assemble health kits and school kits.
Volunteers will be needed to help in Hurricane Katrina recovery. To find out how you can help with hurricane cleanup, write Mission Volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org for contact information for your United Methodist Volunteers in Mission jurisdictional and conference coordinators. They will provide details on creating and training a team as well as scheduling details. For information on what disaster sites are currently scheduling volunteers, call the Volunteer Hotline at 800-918-3100.