As Hurricane Irene Gains Strength and Churns Toward the East Coast, World Vision Readies Staff and Supplies for Immediate Response
The Aid Agency’s National, Regional and Local Offices are on Alert Monitoring the Hurricane’s Path
Dallas, Texas — As Hurricane Irene threatens to become the most powerful storm to hit the East Coast in seven years, World Vision is preparing for a rapid deployment of relief supplies. The Christian relief organization has teams on alert ready to deploy in the next 72-hours to areas hit hardest by the storm. National emergency officials are urging the entire East Coast to prepare for Irene which could become a Category 4 monster by the time it makes landfall in the United States this weekend. As the storm, which has already strengthened to a Category 3 moves closer, thousands of people in Ocracoke Island, N.C., have been ordered to evacuate.
“We’re bracing for a possible impact that could be devastating,” says Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s domestic emergency response director. “We are concerned for lower-income families who don’t have the funds needed to properly prepare for this dangerous storm, but the biggest needs will emerge after the storm has passed.”
To ensure a swift response to those in need, World Vision is preparing essential relief items like personal hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, clothing, shoes, and building materials which are vital for recovery efforts. These supplies are prepositioned in the organization’s 56,000 square-foot Domestic Disaster Response Hub in Dallas, Texas.
Currently, World Vision staff is reaching out to its network of community organizations, churches, and other partners in the region. The network, created after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, will help distribute relief supplies and other brand new items that companies donate to World Vision.
“One of our biggest fears is that people are disaster weary,” says Freeman who is a veteran of the agency’s Hurricane Katrina response. “From floods, to tornadoes, to hurricanes this is the most severe weather season I have seen in the United States in my 14 years of doing disaster response.”
World Vision response teams are still providing ongoing relief to tornado survivors in Alabama, Virginia, Minnesota and Missouri. In Tuscaloosa and Joplin alone, World Vision has served over 9,700 tornado survivors including 1,000 children who recently received backpacks filled with school supplies.
World Vision works domestically through eight distribution facilities across the nation, each stocked with essentials ranging from clothing and personal care items to school, cleaning, and building supplies. The agencies programming focuses on youth development, support of schools and communities and emergency response and rebuilding. The public can help by visiting www.worldvision.org or by calling (888) 56-CHILD (24453).
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world’s poor— regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.For more information on their efforts, visitWorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews
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