Louisiana Flooding – What you can do to helpPosted: August 15, 2016
Our friends in Louisiana need our prayers and our help. They are in a state of emergency due to massive flooding. Some areas have received more than 25 inches of rain since Friday and the flooding continues. So far, 6 people have died and 20,000 have had to be rescued. Over 10,000 people are in temporary shelters.
We also know that there is ongoing flooding in Mississippi. Within the United Methodist connection, we currently are responding to 150 disasters in 38 states. We lift all those affected in our prayers.
In the midst of a disaster, we wonder what we can best do from afar. Our initial response is to want to be there, in person, to help. This often is not best for those who live there and are in the middle of a crisis. The recovery in Louisiana and Mississippi will be long and we will have future opportunities to send teams to be onsite.
Until that time, below are recommendations for immediate assistance that our conference Disaster Response Coordinators, Angela Overstreet, in the Tennessee Conference, and Rev. Robert Craig, in the Memphis Conference, have forwarded to me.
Thank you for your prayers and your help. May God have mercy on those affected by this devastating flood.
How You Can Help
Prepare and Send the Following Items (as indicated)
(Videos with assembly instructions: http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies/Relief-Supply-Kits/)
- Rakes – yard rakes (No leaf rakes)
- Box Fans
- Garden Sprayers – 2 gallon only
- Flat Bill Shovels
- 25 foot Extension Cords
In the Tennessee Conference, bring these items to:
TNUMC Conference Office, 302 S. Perimeter Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
Phone: 615-329-1177 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F)
Contact: Angela Overstreet, firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-695-2765
Please check the Tennessee Conference website for updates in the coming weeks.
In the Memphis Conference, bring these items to:
Memphis Conference Office, 24 Corporate Blvd, Jackson, TN 38305
Contact: Robert Craig, email@example.com, 731-583-9970, Ext 101
Please also check the Memphis Conference website for district drop off locations and deadlines to be posted as soon as confirmed.
Pray for Louisiana
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, resident bishop of the Louisiana Conference and guest speaker at the Memphis Conference service of ordination in June, asks that we continue to pray:
Pray for those still trapped by rising waters…
Pray for those yet to be affected…
Pray for the first responders who have left their own flood ravaged homes to rescue others…
Pray for the children who have difficult questions with difficult answers…
Pray for our government officials; may they get the rest they need…
Pray for our churches; may they respond with the grace of Jesus Christ.
Send Funds for Supplies
Financial Donations may be sent directly to:
Louisiana Conference of the UMC, 527 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Please indicate that funds are for: August floods 2016.
You also may give to disaster relief online through UMCOR.
Please DO NOT send other items and DO NOT deploy volunteers to that area.
Currently, there is no space to store non-requested items and certainly nowhere to house volunteers! The Louisiana Conference Disaster Response Coordinator will do an assessment of needs and will communicate to us when our Early Response Teams can come to Louisiana to assist. IMPORTANT: They will only accept properly trained volunteers AND our teams must be invited by the Louisiana Conference before being deployed.
You can be prepared to respond by encouraging volunteers to participate in UMCOR approved disaster response training. Registrations are now being accepted for Tennessee Conference Early Response Team Training in September at Cedar Crest Camp. Also, Recertification for those already trained will be offered on that Saturday. Click here for more information.