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Relief efforts continue in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, which struck inland just a few weeks ago. Volunteers from Missouri are continuing to distribute supplies and provide aid for those affected by the storm and its aftermath. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has this update.
First came Hurricane Sandy. Then to make matters even worse, many storm victims still suffer from wide-spread power outages throughout parts of New York and New Jersey. Jeff Nene, a spokesperson for Springfield based Convoy of Hope, referred to this ongoing need as a “disaster within a disaster.”
“Our crew’s been staying pretty busy. We’ve got three or four teams in the area now, probably about 15 people total, from our team here at Convoy in Springfield. But then we’ve also utilized hundreds of volunteers across the area. When we go into a community to respond to a disaster we will pull volunteers from local churches and local businesses, it helps us to be so much more efficient,” Nene says.
Nene says they have had a rapid response team in place even before the storm hit, ready to distribute supplies when needed. He says that already 2 million pounds, or around 50 tractor-trailer loads, of supplies have been delivered to the region. Nene says food and water were the primary needs during the first few days after the disaster, but as time goes on those needs are changing.
“Now we’re doing more things like paper products, cleaning supplies, and bleach. Some of the water damage that we’ve seen through there has been incredible. I mean, several blocks inland from the ocean and people’s homes are just flooded,” says Nene.
Nene says they anticipate having crews there for at least the upcoming week. He says they will continue to have a presence there for as long as they are accomplishing something.
“One of the biggest things that we use as a gauge to determine how long we will be there, how long there’s a need, is how many people are still living in their homes in freezing temperatures without power,” says Nene.
Nene says Convoy of Hope is entirely donation funded, and their mission is driven both by need and donor wishes. You can find a link to more information below. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.
Click here to learn more about Convoy of Hope.
Last week OEM diployed teams to help with the hurricane recovery effort. Click here to read more.