Puerto Rico Teams: Please make known if you personally would consider going on a team if the conference organizes one, and even better, lead the team. Further information available.
California Fires: Our chainsaw team again sprang into action to work the Lilac Fires just north of California. CalPac’s ERTs were able to handle the ERT relief work. Rebuilding began with the help of Habitat of Humanity, and others. Most damaged homes were trailers.
ERT help in the Montecito area is pending: the ground is unstable in many areas, and in others areas, FEMA will need to come in to scrape off and dump about 14-18 inches of topsoil, as the intense heat turned the soil to glassy crystals. Most homes were well-insured.
Montana Blizzards: Northwest Montana has had 40 inches of snow this winter, with 14’ during one blizzard on the Blackfoot reservation 2-weeks-ago. The local UMC, overwhelmed with trying to run a disaster response, called the Jurisdiction’s Disaster Directors who recommended Mike Moore to direct the UMC response and suggested the use of the appropriate VOAD partners. UMCOR gave them $10,000 to purchase 6 semi’s of firewood, delivered on Friday. Snow removal cannot happen fast enough to keep major roads open so grocery stores in the towns can be stocked or wood delivered. Team Rubicon and the Red Cross arrived Monday to take over from the United Methodist Church to address tasks with their special skills and equipment. They expect flooding from snowmelt will create the second disaster.
Can your church send an ERT or rebuild team later this spring? Contact Fred Heggestad or Polly Turner for training, tools, and financing options. Conference-wide teams will also go, so save an open week or two.
Hurricane Harvey in Texas: Rebuild teams are desperately needed in this area of extreme poverty. Much of the housing looks like third-world conditions. Can your church send a team? Do you want help talking to the pastor and congregation?