February 3, 2012

CWS emergency appeal update: 2012 severe storms and tornadoes

Appeal Number 627-T Update
Appeal Goal: $30,000

Situation:

Severe storms impacted the south on January 22 and 23. States impacted were Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. Alabama was the hardest hit with an EF-3 tornado causing significant destruction. FEMA has declared a Major Disaster Declaration (FEMA-4052-DR-Alabama) for Chilton and Jefferson Counties in Alabama. The declaration is for individual assistance. Additional counties effected but not included in the Federal declaration were Tuscaloosa, Perry, St Claire and Elmore. Communities impacted were Trussville, Clay, Oak Grove, Center Point, Alliance, Grayville, Fultondale, Argo and Maplesville. In total as many as 1,500 homes were damaged, of which 500 have major damage. Fifty to 60 percent are estimated to be underinsured or uninsured. In the town of Center Point (Jefferson County, Ala.) an elementary school was destroyed. As a result of the storms and tornadoes over 100 persons were injured and two lives were lost.

January storms also caused flooding in Oregon. Hardest hit is the City of Turner, Oregon. Fifteen homes have received significant damage and many others have received minor damage.

Response by CWS, CWS communions and CWS partners:

CWS Emergency Response Specialists are in contact with response agencies to arrange shipment of Hygiene Kits and School Kits to affected communities in the south. They are also in the early stages of conversations with communities to assist with the organization of Long Term Recovery Committees, as the communities move from the response phase to the recovery stage of the disaster. Among the many organizations involved in the disaster response are the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Lutheran Ministries of Alabama, United Methodist Church, Catholic Charities, Mennonite Disaster Service, Adventist Community Services, Mission to North America – Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention. Activities undertaken include mobile kitchens, warehousing, sheltering, debris removal (chain saw crews and heavy equipment operation), damage assessment and emotional and spiritual care.

In Oregon, the Turner Christian Church has set up a donations management center and is helping to organize volunteer work groups. CWS Emergency Response Specialists and Habitat for Humanity are in contact with organizations in Turner to determine what assistance is needed.

Budget:

Goal is $30,000. Funds will be used for processing and shipment of material goods, for Long Term Recovery Group Start-up Grants and for Long Term Recovery Group training.

How to help:

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts in the U.S. and around the world may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (Appeal #627-T, 2012 Severe Storms and Tornadoes).

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.