I have spoken at length with the Mississippi Disaster Coordinator, Wayne Napier. He is putting me in touch with the Seashore District Disaster Coordinator. At this time there are families that have been moved to three different shelters and will not be home any time soon. In parts of the state, water is still rising. The situation with the breech in the southern Mississippi dam is still tenuous. He does not think that any sort of teams can be used before next week.
I have offered our manpower, our cleaning buckets (which he will most likely need) and other basic supplies and at this time has not requested anything. Assessments are scheduled for Monday. The affected areas are working with their VOAD groups (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and are functioning as they should.
I have also been in touch with the Louisiana Conference coordinator, Darryl Tate. We are on standby there.
Be assured that we are in response as a conference to the disaster of Hurricane Isaac, but only in ways that will be helpful. We do not want to add to their problems by responding in ways that they do not need or request.
Prayer is powerful and at this time is the most helpful way for us to respond. However, as they work through the weekend and do assessments, Wayne is sure that our teams will be needed.
If you have been through ERT Training, you may want to review the issues involved with removing water damage. He also feels that some of the properties will be under water for at least a couple of weeks, so those properties may be condemned.
Your churches can also put together UMCOR cleaning buckets to replenish supplies that have already been sent or will be sent soon. For information on how to put a cleaning bucket together, click here.
Thank you for your concern and prayers during this time.
Alabama-West Florida Conference Disaster Response Coordinator