Spring 2008 Tornadoes and Floods in Central U.S. - Update

July 22, 2008

Communities Organize for Clean up and to Begin Recovery. The United Church of Christ is providing assistance and volunteer opportunities.

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Thousands of homes are destroyed or damaged across the Mid West.  FEMA has received 83,301 requests for individual household assistance from the five States impacted by floods (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin).  This number does not include businesses, schools, churches or other institutions that were damaged. 

Damage assessment for homes and farm land and local businesses is being conducted.  Also, long term recovery committees are forming in communities impacted by the tornadoes and floods.  United Church of Christ Disaster Response Coordinators are meeting with and serving on these committees alongside other UCC members who will work to restore communities.  The primary purpose of the long term recovery committee is to identify persons with unmet needs (no insurance, under-insured, insufficient assistance from FEMA or the State) and seek to find assistance for their recovery.   The maximum amount that may be received from FEMA is $28,800 – many people will receive less.  Volunteer work groups will be needed to assist with rebuilding homes.

United Church of Christ local churches in Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri have received a total of $37,000 from the One Great Hour of Sharing special fund, "2008 Tornadoes and Floods."  These funds are to help with emergency needs for UCC families, and UCC local churches. The UCC Illinois (prior to flooding in this State), and Ohio Conferences have contributed from their stock clean up buckets to Indiana and Iowa.

Additionally, $38,894.70 was used to purchase personal protection equipment for home owners and volunteers in Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa who are cleaning out homes. 2000 pieces of each item have been sent to Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa.  Did you know?  --   $6.98 will purchase one each: Tyvek coverall with hood and boot, chemical splash goggle, nitrile glove, and N95 respirator.  This equipment will help to protect home owners and volunteers during clean up. 

As of this date, $59,119 has been received in response to the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Appeal, "2008 Tornadoes and Floods."   The United Church of Christ, National Disaster Ministries is seeking $200,000 for the current response and long term recovery efforts.  Donations should be sent to the One Great Hour of Sharing special fund, "2008 Tornadoes and Floods." Donate Now

Ways you can help!!!
Volunteer Opportunities 
Homes need to be cleaned out before any rebuilding can occur.  Click on the link above for information.   When opportunities are available for rebuild by volunteer work groups, information will be posted here.

Clean Up Buckets Urgently Needed by Church World Service  
Did you know?  -- A 1,500 square foot home requires approximately ten buckets for clean up depending on damage caused by any storm.  Clean up buckets are always needed.  Click on the link above for information on assembling and shipping buckets.

To support our ecumenical commitment, $12,000 from One Great Hour of Sharing was sent to Church World Service to assist with shipping costs to provide communities with personal care kits, clean up kits, baby kits and blankets.

Flood waters are receding, but sandbags are still piled around buildings, fields and river banks; and when the rain falls some streets and fields still flood – the land is saturated and there is no place for the water to go.  Add to this antiquated roadways that washed away, bridges in need of repair that collapsed, and failed levees – infrastructures in counties, cities and towns that are aging.  A recent article distributed by Reuters news service points out the weaknesses in our infrastructures and what it would take to fix them.   Read:  "Midwest floods spotlight decrepit infrastructure." http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0127639020080701


1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by tornadoes and floods.

2.  To help those affected by disasters you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for "2008 Tornadoes and Floods" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.


3. Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "2008 Tornadoes and Floods" to Financial Services; Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.


4. Make a secure on-line donation-Donate Now!


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