Response to Recent Storms in Oklahoma Begins!
Once again, Oklahoma is facing significant damage caused by Spring weather. While not as intense as previous years, the accumulative effect of a very wet Spring, together with some small tornadoes, is giving us lots to do to clean up and restore people’s homes.
And, we are not out of the woods yet! More rain is expected in the next few days; some tornadoes touched down on Wednesday night; loose barges on the Arkansas river near Webber Falls could affect the locks on the dam; and the increased release rate of the Keystone Dam near Tulsa is causing deep concern about flooding.
We will clearly need ERT and VIM teams to assist in mucking out and in rebuilding efforts. However, it is too early to know exactly when and where our efforts will be needed.
This is one of the most dispersed effects of flooding we have seen in our state, spreading from west to east right across the state. We are in the process of gathering information, meeting with our Disaster Response partners, and setting up staging areas for the ERTs to be accommodated. It is likely there will be a number of these around the state.
For now, three things are needed:
- Your prayers for those affected by these events! In so many cases, the most vulnerable of our residents are the ones left without resources or alternatives when events like this overtake them. They need to know they are wrapped in ours and in God’s love.
- Donations! These recent events are unlikely to draw either a national emergency declaration or significant media coverage. So, resources for recovery will be stretched thinly! Please consider a gift directly to our Annual Conference Disaster Relief efforts. You will find a donate button below. alternatively, you can send in your check, made out to Oklahoma UMC with “OK Disaster Relief” in the memo line to: 1501 NW 24th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73106. Donations call also be made to UMCOR online: www.umcmission.org/umcor/give
- Prepare to send your team. Please indicate your interest in serving by using the link below. This is only an indication of your availability at this stage. You will be contacted as we firm up our response so that we can allocate time and place of service. Be prepared, at this stage, largely for mucking out work.
We are in the process of setting up a Response Hotline for those interested in serving. For those needing to register their own situation for possible assistance, please encourage them to call Heartline at 211. This will ensure their case is properly processed through the response system.
There is going to be a large need for UMCOR Cleaning Kits (used to be called flood buckets). With Annual Conference next week, it is not too late to put effort into assembling as many kits as possible and asking your delegates to AC to bring them to the Conference Ministry Center! We will announce distribution locations as soon as possible.
Rev. Jeremy Basset, the Director of the Oklahoma UM Office of Mission, (cell: 405,590-5738) and Tim McHugh, the recently appointed Conference Director of Disaster Response, will be guiding our response.
More information to follow; please keep checking back to this page.