Parts of Louisiana received 30 inches of rain within 3 days, leaving 20 parishes in a state of emergency and stranding nearly 30,000 people. In all, over 12,000 needed to seek refuge in shelters, nearly a dozen died, and an estimated 40,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas. UCC Disaster Ministries has been in contact with the South Central Conference of the UCC and have confirmed that no UCC congregations have been directly impacted. We continue to monitor the situation as it is unfolding and are well connected with the nation’s most trusted and reputable disaster response and recovery organizations through our National VOAD membership and work.
UCC Disaster Ministries is not always the first to arrive but we are often among the last to leave. We focus our efforts on holistic community-lead long-term recovery and will be seeking volunteers to support these efforts in upcoming months and years.
Funding to support this work is needed now. Donations should be directed to the Emergency USA fund. Undesignated donations allow for funds to be used where needed most, but if individuals choose to do so, donations can be designated for LA Flood Recovery.
Here is what anyone interested in helping should know:
- Cash is the most effective and efficient way to meet basic needs now and in recovery.
- Don’t donate items unless you have received a specific request from an organization on the ground that can handle storage and distribution. Consider the cost of transportation vs. purchasing locally.
- Don’t self-deploy. Only travel to the area if you’ve been trained and called upon by an organization requesting your physical presence.
- Be patient. Begin to clear your calendar months from now and set aside time for serving to help repair/rebuild homes.
- Give to a reputable organization.
- Pray for the survivors and emergency personnel.
- Monetary donations provide the most effective, efficient, and versatile form of support for disaster survivors.
Learn more on the UCC website: http://www.ucc.org/news_donations_prayers_to_help_flood_victims_in_louisiana_08172016