Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery – San Leon, Texas – Volunteer Trip

The recovery work continues –

From our facebook group, come visit us there:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37327829412

Andy

Andy

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Continuing disaster relief effortsby Project417 team member Andy Coates

San Leon, Texas

San Leon, Texas

in September and October , there will be another volunteer trip to take part in the recovery work in Galveston County from December 13th to 17th, 2008. The work will take place in San Leon, Texas, a small town on the coast that depends primarily on the devastated fishing industry for survival. The Hurricane Ike storm surge severely damaged most homes in San Leon and the volunteer recovery projects will consist mostly of property clean-up and house renovation and gutting.
Plans arefor a Toronto and area team to visit San Leon Texas in the second week of January. April and Andy are heading down there this week (Dec 11th)  to meet a group of 12 volunteers from Georgia State University- The Vietnamese Students Association and we will be performing community relief work such as property clean-up, and renovations / gutting of flood damaged homes for primarily the Vietnamese American families who live there.The Georgia group is there from the 13th to the 17 of December and then we’ll return.In the second week of January, we also have tentatively booked another group of volunteers from the University of Illinois, approximately 20 students, to visit San Leon again. Many of this group have experience gutting out homes and other relief work in Alabama, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.

Consider joining a team. Donate to project417 to help the Hurricane Ike victims

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FEMA Relief in Texas Thousands Waiting to Rebuild after Ike

Source NYTimes.com  – A letter To the Editor: from FEMA about housing relief efforts following Hurricane Ike.

Hurricane Ike damaged home in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas

Hurricane Ike damaged home in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas

Approximately 22,000 people displaced by Hurricane Ike sought and found FEMA shelter assistance. FEMA  …has reimbursed them for expenses they may have incurred. This reimbursement program was scheduled to end last week, but was extended when it became clear that repairs and clearances for some homes would be delayed. FEMA is judging extensions on a case-by-case basis. Some could stretch into next year. – quoting Jonathan F. Thompson, Director of External Affairs, FEMA”.

Andy Coats and Project417, who partnered with the Salvation Army and San Leon Community Disaster Relief for two weeks at the end of September, is retruning to San Leon with volunteer teams to help with the re-building. Many of the poorer residents of San Leon are stuck in a Catch 22 situation with repsect to their FEMA claims. Although they qualify for FEMA assistance grants to re-build their homes, the FEMA aid is dependant on the house foundations being raised at least eight feet above flood plain levels. In the case of one family Andy helped in San Leon, while the FEMA grant exceeds $25,000 – sufficient to repair the storm surge submerged home – it does not cover the cost of raising the home foundation the required height on pillars to be safe from future storm surges. As a result, no insurance company will issue a policy, and no mortgage can be issued without insurance. The result is three fold, FEMA will not pay the money without insurance on the home. The family can not afford the extensive repairs, and the home can not be sold, because no purchaser would receive a mortgage without the insurance.

Project417 is seeking donations to adopt Texas families in similar situations, assist in the rebuilding to FEMA standards, and to raise volunteer teams to take part in re-building to reduce overall construction costs. Check back to the blog pages here for updates on the next planned volunteer trips in December and January.  Share this page with your friendsDigg the story, and share it on Facebook.

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San Leon Hurricane Ike Survivors Glad to See Disaster Relief Workers

More updates on the mission log here.

UPDATE: Saturday, October 4th, 2008 –

I have been serving the residents of San Leon, Texas now all this week. We visit for several hours twice daily in one of the Salvation Army Mobile canteen trucks to serve fresh hot meals for lunch and dinner. We have averaged about 1,00 meals a day at the San Leon Community Disaster Relief Center at the site of a small Baptist church, along with Houston Food bank, the American Baptist Association and  local volunteers. Total meals served from our command center are over 6,500 a day all from mobile canteen crews like ours. Total for all the Louisiana and Texas disaster incident commands are more than 1.2 Million hot meals since relief efforst began a month ago, first for Gustav, then Ike.

The devastation of San Leon, just up the coast from Galveston, is equal or more severe than what I witnessed in New Orleans after Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward. There are thousands of residents whose homes were completely submerged by the 12 to 20 foot storm surge and battered by Hurricane Ikes category two winds. Even now, electrical power service has not been restored. There is no ice, clean water, local sources of food (the nearest supermarket open is more than 20km). Entire home contents have been lost. Most homes in San Leon were small and simple, many were trailer homes and wood frame houses. Lives have been lost. We pray for them all.for The majority of residents in San Leon are Vietnamese America, and Hispanic. Most don’t have insurance and no FEMA cash support has been received yet.  Many families with young children are sleeping in their cars outside their gutted homes. Some were homeless and living rough before the storm and now are severely at risk having lost even their open air campsites and squats and what few belongings they had.

These photos from Sanleontexas.com (maintained by a colourful local resident) are only a few showing both the destruction and the will to survive and overcome. I’ll be posting many more of mine when I have a more reliable internet connection showing the volunteers and residents working together.

These people really need your help, consider  making a generous donation today. Contact me here by submitting a comment to the post if you have any questions.

Pasadena Texas residents tell stories of Hurricane Ike damage and recovery

The Citizen, a Pasadena Texas newspaper online. Volunteer appreciation stories and residents tell of weathering Hurricane Ike and clean-up recovery in their own photos.

read more | digg story

Andy Coats of Project417 arrived at the Pasadena Salvation Army late Friday to help out local residents slammed by Ike, many still without power 2 weeks after Ike. They have been providing hot meals to locals and dispatching canteens to service a wider area- Galveston, Seabrook and Beaumont. More than 1.8 million meals have been served since the storm.

Today the existing mobile kitchen operated in partnership with Southern Baptist volunteers was being dismantled (12 fifty-three foot trailers) and moved to Seabrook, so the Pasadena EDS Incident Commander, Salvation Army Captain Edward Alonzo volunteered his church and community center, located on Cherry Brook Lane, to take over the cooking that replenishes the canteens. (this is also the site of the EDS Incident Command) I’d already told the Captain I was willing to cook anytime so, even though I’d been planning to do canteen duty in Galveston, Captain Alonzo appealed to me for help. Sure, I said, I can cook… Umm, How many are we talking? 600 the captain said (I didn’t blink- note to self: take up poker). Turns out after speaking with Cedric, the officer responsible for the canteens, it would be 600 meals per canteen.

OK grabbed a calculator and did the math. 4 canteen trucks- 600 lunches and 600 suppers. That. Is. Four. Thousand. Eight Hundred. Meals. So, I’ll be having a busy day tomorrow. Stay tuned. By the way, you can reach me on my cell while I’m here 1+832-472-8421.

Onsite with Hurricane Ike – Emergency Disaster Services Houston – Project417

Update:Hurricane Ike Disaster Relief

As of 4AM today (Sept. 26th) Andy Coats of Project417 is flying down to Houston as a member of the first Canadian Emergency Disaster Services team of the Salvation Army. There is a team of 10 in total for the first responders, and the assignment will last until October 9th, 2008. At that time the second team will come down to relieve us (although I’m prepared to stay longer.

Setting up the EDS Warehouse in Gretna

Setting up the EDS Warehouse in Gretna

My assignment, with colleagues from Canada, is with the Salvation Army EDS in Houston, for distribution of food and emergency supplies to victims, EDS teams and emergency service personnel: hot meals, water, MRE’s, med kits, clean-up kits, personal hygiene items,  snacks, food boxes and other donated items for victims. Other team members will be on mobile canteen duty, crisis intervention counselling (CISM), grief counselling and spiritual support.

During the time there I will also meet with the Houston CSM city leader to assess the damage to their housing site and possible relief services for the next missions. There may be an opportunity to visit Galveston to survey the damage also – and a trip to New Orleans to arrange the November short-term mission details.

I may or may not have access to the internet, but if I do I will continue to post updates and photos or make arrangements for them to be posted on my behalf. Ditto with email, so don’t be concerned if you’re not hearing from me. You can always reach me on my cell phone – visit the Project417.com site for details.

If you need to contact me, please contact Rev. Joe Elkerton, Executive Director of Project417 email:  elkerton at project417 dot com.

Gutting Houses

Please consider making a donation today to help the Hurricane Ike victims in Texas (Galveston and Houston) and New Orleans, Louisiana – by making a secure online donation with PayPal to Project417 (a registered charity of: Ekklesia Inner City Ministries)

Appeal from Houston Charity – CSM Center for Student Missions – Hurricane Ike Damages Housing Site

I received an urgent email update from our friends at CSM in Houston today:

Houston Hurricane Alert CSM Center for Student Missions

CSM Houston’s housing site lost it’s roof during Hurricane Ike. Many of you know that Houston was directly hit by Hurricane Ike. Many homes, businesses and churches were devastated by the double devastation of wind and water.

The CSM housing site was not spared Ike’s fury. Thank God that no one was home at the time of the hurricane, but the hurricane winds did peel off the roof of the gym building where teams shower and eat and where our seasonal staff are housed. Water came through windows and the roof, drenching rooms, furniture and floors. The church’s insurance adjuster estimates about a million dollars damage for the whole property. Because of the evacuation, when our Houston city leader Paul Randall could finally inspect the site, he discovered that mold had already developed. CSM helps ministries in need, but right now, CSM Houston needs your help.

In order to continue helping the city during the crises of Hurricane Ike’s aftermath, we will need to make extensive repairs to the CSM site. We will need to replace all of the furniture and appliances in the staff housing as well as make construction repairs and replace flooring, carpeting and paint the entire facility. Though insurance will cover the structural damage to the roof it will not cover our damage and loss. Please be in prayer for the Houston team as they begin the clean up. Pray, too, that teams will come to Houston to assist with the clean up. Ask God to bring hope and encouragement to the congregation that shares their facility so generously with us.

We’d also like to ask you consider giving a special gift now to help us rebuild our housing and assist our host congregation. CSM Houston has an immediate, critical need where you can make a significant impact. Please send your gift to CSM, P.O. 900, Dana Point, CA 92629-0900 or you can donate online at http://www.CSM.org/ Look under “Opportunities” and designate your gift in the note box. Your gift today will enable CSM to continue supporting our ministry partners in the city as they rebuild.We want to thank you for all of your heartfelt care and partnership with us at CSM as together we bring hope and transformation to often forgotten people for God’s sake.

Dan Reeve
CSM President
http://www.csm.org

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CSM Center for Student Missions also has a site in Toronto, who for many years have sent volunteers – more than 500 every year – to help Project417 with our Sandwich Runs to the Homeless out on the streets and many of those volunteers are here visiting from all over the United States, even Texas. They have helped us here in Toronto for so many years I hope people can be encouraged to return the blessing and help them in their time of need.  I’ll be visiting Houston for the next two weeks to help set up an Emergency Disaster Services warehouse to distribute personal items, emergency kits and food hampers. While I’m there I’ll do my best to meet with Paul Randall of CSM Houston and get an update on their progress. Check back to the MissionLog blog here often or visit our Facebook page. <><

==> More Hurricane Updates and Photos

Four New Hurricane Ike Updates – Volunteer – Donate

“]Volunteers begin massive Hurricane Ike clean-upSept. 20, 2008 – Four new articles posted on Digg.com today that really illustrate the scope of the disaster relief efforts spawned by recent hurricanes Ike and Gustav across the Gulf Coast region and into the Midwest. Follow the read more links to visit the original news articles for photos and updated relief information. Some of the recent photos posted are mind-boggling – both Ike and Gustav have turned out to be much more destructive than originally reported. Don’t forget to digg the story and improve our search results on Digg.com, a great social networking news aggregator. Scroll down to read the following posts and other recent Hurricane news here at the Mission Log –

  • Hurricane Ike Aftermath – Photos Slideshow

  • Hurricane Ike Victims Toll Rises – FEMA’s Chertoff Criticized

  • Ike Death Toll Rises as Does Victims’ Pain

  • Louisiana: Ike – Gustav Relief Effort Updates & News Releases

And take a moment to consider making a donation to Project417 to help the victims of Ike and Gustav, as well as the ongoing Re-build New Orleans programs which continue today after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Andy Coats is heading down this week to take part in the Ike / Gustav relief operations and finalize plans for the November Home Re-Building team.

Hurricane Ike Aftermath – Photos Slideshow

Dallas /Fort Worth NBC5  – new photos from across the state that show the overwhelming aftermath of Hurricane Ike along with emergency rescue first responders, volunteers and relief efforts.

read more | digg story

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