UMCOR Responds to Gustav
September 2, 2008—After a weekend of preparations and evacuations, communities throughout La. and in parts of Miss. and Fla. took a direct hit from Hurricane Gustav and have experienced extensive damage. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) continues to be in contact with those conferences, each of which is well prepared and assessing the situation.
UMCOR's domestic disaster response staff has been deployed to affected conferences to assist in the recovery. United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and UMCOR are coordinating efforts and specially-trained early response teams will begin recovery efforts as areas are assessed and declared safe and secure.
In parts of La., where many people were just beginning to recover from the 2005 hurricanes, more than 2,000 homes were damaged by Gustav. More than 800,000 power outages have been reported. Communities along the Miss. coast, destroyed three years ago, have experienced extensive flooding. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR disaster response executive, says, "UMCOR is committed to serving the most vulnerable. Our response to Hurricane Gustav will seek out those most affected by this storm and help them rebuild their lives."
UMCOR Sager Brown Depot Safe
UMCOR Sager Brown, the organization's supply center in Baldwin, La., and local homes did not sustain major damage from Hurricane Gustav. Glenn Druilhet, depot manager for Sager Brown, reports that trees are down and power is out in the area. All of the Sager Brown staff evacuated before the storm but will return soon. It will be at least the weekend before the depot is operational again.
How to Help
UMCOR needs your help to ensure that UMCOR Sager Brown is full stocked to respond as soon as it is operational. Congregations and individuals are urged to send completed buckets, bulk materials or a contribution to purchase supplies. A list of the contents can be found here.
Please help UMCOR respond to people affected by Hurricane Gustav. Your gift to UMCOR Advance #3019695 , Hurricanes 2008, helps us provide immediate on-the-ground support to volunteers, annual conferences and interfaith response efforts.
Contact your Jurisdictional Volunteer in Mission Coordinator for information about volunteering. We anticipate that it will be some weeks before the area is secured and housing set up for general volunteers.