Louisiana Flooding Disaster Response

August 18, 2016

(Susan Hunt) - Our hearts are broken with the news of severe flooding in Louisiana over the last several days. Thousands of people have been displaced and are in temporary shelters after over two feet of rain fell in a short span of time, flooding many homes. Our brothers and sisters there need our help.

First, please pray for all those who are affected by this disaster.

Second, please do not self-deploy to disaster areas until the people in Louisiana have issued an invitation. In the weeks and months to come there will be an appropriate time we can help in person, but that time is not yet. There is no place for volunteers to stay, and we would displace those residents needing shelter now.

Third, there are a few items they have requested:

  • UMCOR Cleaning Buckets (Formerly called Flood buckets; click here for assembly instructions)
  • Box fans (To help dry out homes
  • 25' Extension Cords (So people can move the fans around in a home
  • 2 gallon garden sprayers (To kill mildew and mold
  • Flat billed shovels (To take out wet carpet, carpet pads, sheet rock, insulation, etc.)
  • Garden rakes with 3" tines (To gather limbs, leaves and trash that have floated into a home.)
  • 2-wheeled wheel barrows (To carry wet items and trash to the road/street)
  • Adult diapers, baby diapers and baby wipes. 

UMCOR's Sager Brown depot, located in Baldwin, LA, is already shipping items they had on hand to places where roads are open. Now, they are asking us to help replenish their supplies and their feeder warehouse in Decatur, AL.

We will soon have several collection points throughout the conference where you can take your items and they will be transported to Decatur or Louisiana. Watch for a separate email with that information in the next day or two.

Please do not send items that are not requested. 

Fourth, your financial contributions are always welcome. You can send donations directly to Louisiana Annual Conference, 527 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802, with "August 2016 Flood" in the memo field.

Or you can send contributions for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) to the conference fiscal office at AWFC, 4719 Woodmere Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36106. Write "US Disaster Response #901670 - Louisiana flooding" in the memo line.

Additional information on donations and collection sites is below:

In-kind donations:

In addition to the items listed in yesterday's email, Baton Rouge First UMC also has a list of items they are requesting. Click here to see their list

We recommend your church concentrate on collecting only one or two items from the lists. This will help the receiving churches and warehouses not have to spend as much time sorting your donations and they can more quickly and easily distribute the items to those in need.

Please do not send items that are not requested. 

Collection sites:

We are very grateful to these churches that have offered to collect your donations:

Andalusia First UMC
Auburn UMC
Capitol Heights UMC - Montgomery
Christ UMC - Mobile
Cokesbury UMC – Pensacola 
Covenant UMC – Dothan
Demopolis First UMC
Fairhope UMC
Good News UMC - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Grove Hill UMC
Gulf Shores UMC
Jackson First UMC
Troy FUMC
Woodland UMC – Pike Road 
Woodbine UMC - Pace, FL

Please call the churches in advance to make arrangements for dropping off your items as not all have the same office hours during the week. Click on the church name above for their address and contact information.

Volunteers may also be needed at the above listed collection sites to help unload and load donations. Please contact the collection sites directly to offer assistance.

Transportation:

Several people have already volunteered to transport donations to Baton Rouge FUMC, the Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA, and to the disaster response warehouse in Decatur, AL. However, we need additional drivers. If there is someone in your church with a truck and/or trailer and who would be willing to pick up and deliver our donated items from any of our collection sites, please contact Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or susan@awfumc.org, Amelia Fletcher at 251-978-8384 or amelia@gulfshoresumc.org.

Volunteers:

Baton Rouge First UMC is accepting volunteers at this time. They have some housing at the church available for 30-40 people, as well as showers and inflatable mattresses. Volunteers should be able to rake and muck out; ERT badges are not required. Our preference is for teams to have leaders who have been through ERT training.

Before deploying, team leaders must:

  • contact George Ragsdale at dgrags@firstmethodist.org for dates available and scheduling. 
  • brief their teams on disaster response protocol and interaction with survivors
  • collect volunteer forms (click here)
  • have proof of volunteers' insurance 
  • provide ID badges for team identification 
  • notify your district disaster coordinators of your deployment