As Hurricane Katrina continues its trek to the northeast as a tropical depression, search and rescue and relief efforts are is full swing. The American Red Cross is preparing for the largest relief effort in its history in the Gulf region of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The devastation to property and human suffering is of catastrophic proportions according to the director of FEMA.
While most of the affected area is still closed to non-residents, Operation Compassion is strategically moving and locating disaster relief supplies so that immediate help can be offered as soon as the areas open.
Pastor Toby Morgan of the Pathway Temple Church of God in Mobile, AL has made his facilities available to stage and distribute supplies from the east side of the destruction. As the region opens from the east, volunteers will use this location as a base of operations to come back to rest and refuel. Pathway Temple will also house volunteer groups coming to help clear debris.
Charles Atkins and his disaster relief volunteers will be coming from Florida to Pathway Temple this afternoon. They will begin work as soon as officials allow them access. The first semi truck loaded with disaster relief supplies will be delivered this afternoon, Tuesday August 30th to the Mobile area.
On the West side, Operation Compassion will partner with the Maranatha Church of God in Baton Rouge, LA and the Louisiana State Office and to stage and distribute needed supplies toward the east. Pastor Ted Long and his congregation have opened the doors of their church for refugees from New Orleans.
Kelly Shope, Louisiana State Youth Director, also serving as disaster relief coordinator, has identified three locations for disaster relief distribution once the roadways are clear. Slidell, Covington and New Orleans triangulate the destructive path of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
Of course, Administrative Bishops Bill Isaacs in Louisiana, Ray Garner in Mississippi and Joseph Mirkovich in Alabama have been tremendous help in providing information and utilizing these resources.
Many partners are stepping forward with offers of assistance. Feed the Children has offered to bring the first semis into Mobile, AL and Baton Rouge, LA. Feed the Children and Larry Jones has always proven to be a most valued partner during times of crisis and non-crisis. In addition, World Vision has offered to procure disaster relief supplies for use in the stricken areas. Hope Charitable Services and Frank Allen have offered two semis of supplies.
As of today, Tuesday August 30th, thirty-five semi trucks of disaster relief supplies have been staged and are en route toward the disaster with much needed life sustaining products. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of a major relief effort that will pale all other efforts to date. The cost of recovery is going to be staggering! You can help! Each disaster relief semi truck costs between thirteen hundred and two thousand dollars. Make a financial donation to help pay the fuel costs and keep those disaster relief trucks moving!
Anyone interested in supporting financially, donating products or providing a corporate lead may contact:
Dr. John D. Nichols, President
David Lorency, International Field Director
Tim Burdashaw, Communications & Development
114 Stuart Road, NE Suite 370
Cleveland, TN 37312