From Haiti to Gulf Coast: N.C.-based Samaritan’s Purse Helping Hurricane Isaac Victims
Disaster Relief Units and Relief Experts Deployed to Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans
BOONE, N.C., Sept. 1, 2012—Samaritan's Purse is responding to help Hurricane Isaac victims recover from wind damage and flooding in Biloxi, Miss., New Orleans and Haiti.
The emergency response began earlier in the week when the organization loaded a DC-3 plane in Florida full of heavy-duty plastic for temporary shelter and more than 700 hygiene kits to help storm victims in Haiti who lost everything. Right now, Samaritan's Purse staff members are in the country working to provide clean drinking water in areas where the water source is unsafe due to flooded wells. So far, the organization has decontaminated more than a dozen storm-flooded wells, and teams are providing communities with water purification tablets.
Here in the U.S., the Samaritan's Purse disaster relief experts have been pre-positioned in Alabama and Mississippi, working their way closer to the affected areas as the storm moved inland. Additional staff and a convoy of heavy equipment and vehicles departed early this morning from the Samaritan's Purse U.S. Disaster Relief headquarters in North Wilkesboro, N.C. This included two tractor-trailer units loaded with tarps, chainsaws, generators and other emergency supplies. Each of these Disaster Relief Units can function as a self-supporting operations center for volunteers and staff. Once on-site in Biloxi and New Orleans, Samaritan's Purse will coordinate teams of staff and volunteers to help clear debris, remove downed trees and salvage personal items.
"Samaritan's Purse helped thousands of homeowners seven years ago after Hurricane Katrina pounded some of the same areas now facing more devastation," said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the organization. "We want these homeowners to know that they are loved and not forgotten, and we will do what we can to help."
Wayne Shoemaker, Samaritan's Purse program manager on the ground managing relief efforts in Biloxi, Miss.
Brent Graybeal, Samaritan's Purse program manager on the ground coordinating and managing relief efforts in New Orleans
This year, Samaritan's Purse responded to help victims of tornadoes in Burke County, N.C.; Harrisburg, Ill.; Madison, Ind.; West Liberty, Ky; Henryville, Ind.; and Charlotte, N.C.; wildfires in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, Colo.; Ruidoso, N.M.; Olive, Okla.; and floods in Moose Lake, Minn., Crawfordville, Fla.; and Johnson City, Tenn. The international relief and evangelism organization coordinated staff and volunteer crews who worked to patch roofs, cut trees, clear debris and assist homeowners in their greatest time of need. Last year, Samaritan's Purse helped more than 3,200 households affected by storms in 10 states through the efforts of more than 20,000 volunteers.