Updated Emergency Appeal: U.S. Hurricane Response

September 11, 2017

Appeal code: 628-G 
Appeal amount: $500,000 

This is an update to the August 29 appeal, which can be found here.

Situation

Just over two weeks after Hurricane Harvey battered Texas’s Gulf Coast, Hurricane Irma churned north along Florida’s Gulf Coast this weekend. Although Irma has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, it left as many as 6.5 million people across Florida without power. Nearly 10,000 army personnel are taking part in response to Irma as search and rescue is underway. The city of Jacksonville is facing historic flooding. Miami also faced significant flooding, with about 70 percent of residents left without power. Officials are still surveying damage in the Florida Keys, which sustained the full force of Irma as a Category 4 hurricane.

Meanwhile, response continues to Hurricane Harvey in Texas. After a two week delay, Houston schools are reopening. The storm’s damage is still widespread, though. New estimates say that the combined economic impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could be as high as $290 billion.

Response

As of September 8, CWS had responded to requests for 90,770 CWS Hygiene Kits, Emergency Cleanup Buckets, School Kits and Blankets for response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, including 30,000 hygiene kits that were pre-positioned for CWS Irma response. If they are not needed for Irma response, those kits will be used for Harvey response.

CWS continues to field requests for hygiene kits and cleanup buckets in the wake of Hurricane Irma. There continues to be an urgent need for cleanup buckets, as CWS supplies are low. The shortage expands beyond CWS – other organizations are also scrambling to mobilize buckets as part of Irma recovery.

Volunteers have re-opened many collection sites for the CWS Kits program that are usually only open in the spring. To date, more than 70 locations in 19 states are now collecting assembled kits.

The CWS Domestic Disaster Program continues to focus on particularly vulnerable communities, especially immigrant and refugee populations. Our team is working closely with partners in Texas and Florida to identify the unique needs of these populations and determine effective strategies to respond. We anticipate a continued information-sharing function as we connect marginalized populations to the information and resources they need to begin recovery. Additionally, CWS will offer grants to long-term recovery groups and other local non-profits in Texas and Florida, particularly those that are working to support immigrant, refugee and other vulnerable populations.

Funds from this appeal will be used to ship material goods, to support recovery groups and local non-profits through medium- and long-term recovery grants and where needed to build short-term field staff capacity.

How to Help

Donations can be made online or can be sent to your denomination or to:

Church World Service
P.O. Box 968
Elkhart, IN 46515

Designate 628-G, U.S. Hurricane Response

Information on assembling and shipping CWS Kits and Emergency Cleanup Buckets can be found at cwskits.org.