November 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Updated Emergency Appeal - Nov. 27

Rev. Tom Goodhue
Rev. Tom Goodhue of the Long Island Council of Churches. Photo: Chris Herlinger/CWS

For the latest updates, visit our Hurricane Sandy emergency information page.

Situation report:

Immediate response and recovery operations for Superstorm Sandy are well underway and will need to continue for some time to come.

Much has been done. Power has been restored to millions of homes. However, some  33,000 homes are still awaiting repairs that will allow power restoration. About 1,000 people are still in shelters, down from a peak of 23,000. Many individuals and families who are now in temporary housing will need that temporary housing for extended periods of time.

In New York State, more than 78,000 applicants have been determined eligible for transitional housing assistance. There are also more than 60,000 who have been determined as eligible in New Jersey.  Large numbers are also applying in other affected states.

Coordinated federal and state preliminary damage assessments are underway in ten states, which aside from New York and New Jersey include Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. More detailed inspections are in process in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. There are 184,159 homes that have been inspected or are to be inspected in coming weeks. The results of completed inspections should be available soon. A total of 433,715 residents have applied for the Federal Emergency Management Administration's  housing inspection program.

Further highlighting the extent of the disaster and of the response, FEMA reports that more than 12,000 federal employees are still deployed to the affected states, and 2,400 National Guard troops are still deployed, as well.

Volunteer numbers are also large. The American Red Cross reports it has deployed more than 9,500 disaster responders - 90 of them volunteers. Large numbers of volunteers are also deployed from dozens of faith-based and non-faith based national organizations. Thousands have also volunteered from the local communities. Virtually every CWS communion has volunteers from local congregations hard at work.

Unfortunately the death toll has increased, with 125 fatalities now reported.

CWS Response:

CWS Emergency Response Specialists are working with state, regional and local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, known as VOADS, and with FEMA, our member denominations and other agencies to determine where CWS  and denominations can help and are needed.

Some of the agencies include the Long Island Council of Churches, the Long Beach Latino Civic Association, the New York City VOAD, the New York Disaster Interfaith Services, the South East PA VOAD and numerous state VOADs.

CWS Emergency Response Specialists are also helping potential donors and volunteers learn where to best provide their services and materials.

CWS is providing material resources, including CWS Blankets, Hygiene Kits, School kits, Baby Kits and Clean-up Buckets to local agencies in affected states.  We are beginning discussions with established and newly forming long term recovery committees for future training.

On Dec. 4-5 CWS Emergency Response Specialists will provide a Webinar on long term recovery. See for details for details and to signup as attendee.

Material resources provided to date total a value of $834,892 with freight costs totaling $29,112. Items sent include CWS Logo Blankets, CWS Baby Kits, CWS Hygiene Kits, and CWS School Kits, as well as CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets.

Agencies and groups receiving the materials: Community Food Bank of NJ (Hillside, NJ); U.S. Army Reserve (Beaver, WV); Nassau County Office of Emergency Management (Bethpage, NY); Adventist Community Services (Bronx, NY); the Long Island Council of Churches (locations on Long Island, NY); Church of God Christian Academy (Far Rockaway, NY); Congregational Church for South Hempstead (South Hempstead, NY); Recovery House of Worship (Brooklyn, NY); Project Hope Charities, Inc. (Jamaica, NY); Catholic Charities (Hicksville, NY);  AME Zion Church (Brooklyn, NY); Lehigh County Emergency Management (Allentown, PA); The Salvation Army (Hempstead, NY).

Additional Information:

CWS member communions and other partners are involved in all affected states doing debris and mud and downed tree removal; receiving, organizing and distributing materials; supporting feeding and sheltering operations, supporting volunteers and aiding their local communities and survivors. Efforts are under way to fully assess the damage and the planning is starting for future home repair and rebuild operations.

CWS also will assist communities in developing Long Term Recovery plans, providing technical and financial support, and providing on site Long Term Recovery training. The lead CWS Emergency Response Specialist for this storm is Joann Hale,, (917) 705-3038.

The other CWS Emergency Response Specialists who can be contacted to provide information are:
The Rev Bryan Crousore:, (515) 867-0612
Sandra Kennedy-Owes:, (251) 725-4262
Kuulei Funn:, (808) 226-6432


Total is $618,000. This includes:

  • $125,000 for material resources and shipping: ($76,000 for blanket purchase and $24,000 for material resource processing and shipping)
  • $300,000 for emergency response long-term recovery group grants (projected 60 grants of $5,000/each)
  • $175,000 for long term recovery group training (12 training events at $14,584/per training)
  • $18,000 for communications

CONCERNING CLEAN UP BUCKETS: At this time we have depleted our supplies of CWS Clean Up Buckets and when buckets arrive we are shipping them to meets immediate needs. CWS appreciates efforts by supporters to help restock our warehouses with material goods, such as CWS Blankets, Clean Up Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Kits and School Kits. Get more information on various kits that can be compiled and donated to CWS.

How to help:

DONATE NOW: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (REF: HURRICANE SANDY APPEAL, U.S., #627-W).

During disaster such as this now is the time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. Used clothing and other materials do little to restore the dignity of survivors. Remember, financial help is best. If you do have supplies that may be of help contact a CWS Emergency Response Specialist to see if the materials can be used and where.

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