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Situation Report - Nebraska Tornadoes
Presbyterian Disaster is responding to the rare double tornadoes that struck Pilger, Nebraska on June 16, 2014. The tornadoes that hit Pilger and heavily damaged or destroyed 75 percent of the town were part of a storm system that went through Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.
Significant flooding continued across portions of Minnesota, northern Iowa and southeast South Dakota. PDA has been in contact with mid-councils who were experiencing flooding.
National Response Team members were invited by the Homestead Presbytery, and two team members served for four days, offering assistance to the presbytery and the leadership of local Presbyterian congregations. Communities are working together on an immediate response, and in the absence of a FEMA declaration, may need assistance in any long-term recovery efforts.
Team members shared about ways the Church is at work to help bring hope out of chaos during the early response:
Rev. Charity Potter, pastor of Wakefield Presbyterian Church, another community affected by the storms, has been working with a group of churches that is coordinating meals for local volunteers, electric power workers, and survivors, as well as assisting with shelter and clothing for people affected by the storms. Others in the community are also helping with emergency provisions.
Local volunteers are being coordinated by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. More than 1,400 people were meeting this need during the first week. Outside teams are not yet requested, but if you would like to be notified of future needs in the area if/when outside volunteers are requested, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathy Keener-Han, interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, Neb., shared on facebook after her visit with the PDA National Response Team members,
“Liz and Greg from PDA met with me in Norfolk about current and future disaster response. Gave me Guides For Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster to share with local colleagues. I've got a punch-list of things/people to follow up on. Thanks PDA!”
How you can Stand in the GAP
Give. Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000015. Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.
- Like us on facebook (PDACares) and share the information with your congregation and others.
- Although it is too soon for outside volunteers, volunteer work teams may be needed to help with rebuilding efforts. Contact the PDA Call Center at (866) 732-6121 to register your interest, and as needs are identified, you will be contacted so that your team can schedule a time to serve.
Pray. Please continue to pray for families affected by the tornadoes and storms. Pray that through the response of the faith community, the faithful hope that is found in Christ will be evident.