Destroyed home in Cedar Grove area of Staten Island / Photo by Joanne S. Utley
Hi everyone. I’ve been caught up in administering – haven’t had time to keep you all posted. Here, briefly, is what’s been going on:
We’ve been sending out teams of anywhere from 2 to 20 people nearly every day for the past few weeks. Our area of focus has been Cedar Grove – plenty of work to be done for the unforeseeable future. Most of the work involves gutting (removing sheetrock, floors, etc.) and debris removal. A few homes have been powerwashed and treated for mold. We have enough homes assessed to keep us busy for the time being; I’m sending out emails calling for assessments as needed, but our primary need is in down-and-dirty labor in the flooded homes.
We have been extremely blessed by the generosity of many folks from across the country who have helped us purchase tools and supplies.
I encourage as many of you as possible to register for ERT training: we have a class at Bethel UMC this coming Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The training familiarizes you with the UMCOR protocol for disaster relief and issues commonly faced in relief work. You can register simply by emailing Ross Porter (email@example.com
). The cost of the class is $10, and lunch is included.
I’m new to disaster relief (as I’m sure most of you are), but I way I see this relief effort playing out most effectively is for the Staten Island community to have regular teams of trained relief workers who can spend a few days a month helping people rebuild their homes. Once the homes are cleared, cleaned and sanitized, we can help folks hang sheetrock, paint, insulate, etc. The whole relief effort will likely take three or more years. Hence, the more trained workers, the faster the recovery.
I know many of you have been praying for the relief work. I thank you. Let’s hang in there together and work together in this recovery effort.
Yours in Christ,