Update from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:

Tornadoes and torrential rains affected several southern states the weekend of May 1, 2010. Nearly 20 inches of rain in a two day period caused severe flooding and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes – by cars if possible, but often by rescue boats. At least 19 people have died as a result of the storms.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been in contact with the Presbytery office in Arkansas and learned that the tornadoes hit in areas where there is no Presbyterian presence. The Presbytery will let us know of any identified needs that we can be a part of.

In Middle Tennessee, the Presbytery Executive indicates that the flooding is extensive, and probably not over yet. The presbytery is requesting PDA assistance and a National Response Team visit to the area as soon as the water recedes and access to the area is possible.

Information on Tennessee Presbyterian churches affected by flooding can be found on Synod of Living Waters online publication, The Presbyterian Voice.

Gulf Coast oil spill

Efforts are underway by many experienced organizations to minimize damage from the huge oil spill caused by last week’s rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. A report from the Church World Service Emergency Response Committee states, ” This type of clean up needs to be carefully supervised by experts — no one should just go out and try to do something, as it is very dangerous to human health.”

The following phone numbers from the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) are provided to help area residents:

To report oiled or injured wildlife, please call 1-800-557-1401.

To discuss spill related damage claims, please call 1-800-440-0858.

To report oil on land, or for general Community and Volunteer Information, please call 1-866-448-5816

LEAN has been established in Louisiana for many years. Following Hurricane Katrina, the United Church of Christ worked with the network on environmental issues related to an oil spill – everything from personal protection equipment for home owners to working with a scientist to test land impacted. Visit LEAN’s website.

The Environmental Ministries Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a blog, Eco-Journey, that includes information on the oil spill.

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