ELCA Lutheran Disaster Responsehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/10 years after Hurricane KatrinaMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/309http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/309<div class="ExternalClassFB47FFB7F506497B940C5B45F5AF8824"><p>​On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States. Damage and destruction sprawled from Florida's panhandle to western Louisiana. 1,833 people died and many more were injured. With approximately 90,000-square miles of federally-declared disaster areas and one million homes and building destroyed, Hurricane Katrina is in the books as the most destructive and costliest disaster in U.S. history.</p><p>Lutherans around the world watched as news reports displayed images of the destruction and aired interviews with people who had lost so much due to the storm, and they turned to their church to respond. Immediately after Katrina hit, people started offering to volunteer in the affected areas and giving to Lutheran Disaster Response. More than $27 million was given to Lutheran Disaster Response to directly assist families that had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. </p><p>Lutheran Disaster Response started recovery efforts by working with its social ministry organization affiliates that were located in the affected area or had networks in the area. Lutheran Disaster Response also became involved with Katrina Aid Today (KAT) National Consortium, a coalition of secular and faith-based organizations that helped provide disaster case management, which provided $8 million to Lutheran Disaster Response for case management. In the end, Lutheran Disaster Response was able to provide case management to 11,000 households with the support from KAT. </p><p>A major component of our Hurricane Katrina response was volunteer coordination. With an unprecedented number of people who wanted to volunteer, local congregations in the affected areas started serving as volunteer hosting centers or setting up volunteer camps that would end up running for years after Katrina hit as volunteers continued to pour in from around the country. One example is Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Ocean Springs, Miss., that started Camp Victor, a volunteer camp that housed 50,000 volunteers from all 50 states and 20 countries. In total, these volunteers provided 1 million service hours as they helped to gut, repair and rebuild more than 2,000 homes. </p><p>In addition, &quot;What a Relief!&quot; formed as an alternative Spring Break volunteer program with Lutheran Disaster Response. During the program's first year, more than 800 college and university students from 34 U.S schools participated in Spring Break service projects in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. For the next four years, Lutheran Disaster Response continued to coordinate more than 50,000 volunteers through &quot;What a Relief!&quot; as it expanded beyond the alternative Spring Break program.</p><p><img alt="katrina blog post.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/katrina%20blog%20post.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;263px;" />&#160;</p><p><span style="font-size&#58;9pt;"><em>Students from&#160;Valparaiso University help clean out a house&#160;damaged by Hurricane&#160;Katrina as part of the What a Relief!&#160;alternative spring break program.</em></span>&#160;</p><p>Throughout the Hurricane Katrina response, special attention was paid to providing emotional and spiritual care for those who were affected by Katrina.</p><p>Hurricane Katrina is Lutheran Disaster Response's largest disaster response to date, and it helped shape the way Lutheran Disaster Response does its work, in addition to connecting people from around the country together to do disaster work with their church.&#160; </p><p>Follow Lutheran Disaster Response on<a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/LutheranDisasterResponse"> Facebook </a>for more Hurricane Katrina anniversary information this week. </p></div>08/25/2015Devastating floods in Arauca, ColombiaMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/308http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/308<div class="ExternalClass72CD30DA3BB34EE2A206324BD511E3C9"><p>​The 2015 rainy season took its toll on Colombia. Heavy rains caused rivers to overflow in the Arauca Department of Colombia in late May. Approximately 30,000 people were affected. Houses, schools and health clinics, which were also being used as evacuation shelters, were flooded, leaving communities without shelter.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The flooding wiped out most of the crops and livestock pastures, which devastated the rural areas where most families depend on small-scale farming and livestock farming for livelihoods. The effects of the floods on farming also produced food insecurity situations that mostly affected women, children and elderly people who have a hard time traveling outside of their communities. Municipal water structures, as well as household and community wells were also damaged or destroyed by the severe weather. </p><p class="MsoNormal">Lutheran Disaster Response has committed $80,000 and is working with The Lutheran World Federation to respond to the humanitarian needs of the people who were affected by the flooding in Colombia. With The Lutheran World Federation, we have been distributing food vouchers to 2,730 families. In addition, water filters, buckets and tank cleaning kits will be distributed to 934 families. Approximately 860 families will receive vouchers for non-food items that can be used to purchase items such as mosquito nets, mattresses, kitchen utensils and household repair kits. Providing vouchers gives families the chance to decide what items they acquire based on their own individual needs.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Please remember in your prayers the people who have been affected by this flooding and who not only have lost their homes but also their livelihoods. Lutheran Disaster Response will continue to work with our partners to help those who were affected rebuild and recover. </p><p class="MsoNormal">Please consider supporting the response in Colombia by visiting the <a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/lutherandisasterresponse">Lutheran Disaster Response giving page</a>. </p></div>08/05/2015Lutheran Disaster Response at the 2015 ELCA Youth GatheringMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/307http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/307<div class="ExternalClassF69F742E5F05487D96C8A9F64C6FBF3F"><p>​During July 14 – 19, the Lutheran Disaster Response team and several dedicated volunteers were in Detroit for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. Lutheran Disaster Response had the great opportunity to have an activity space in the Interactive Center as part of the Proclaim Community Youth Gathering event.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Lutheran Disaster Response’s activity space was titled “Hope for the Refugee,” and the interactive activity gave participants a chance to have a simulation experience of the journey that refugees face. Participants were grouped into “family” units and assigned family roles that they portrayed throughout the activity. Stations included discussing and determining what materials families might need with them to make the journey to a refugee camp, learning about challenges encountered along the journey and how to adapt, and learning about the hope found at refugee camps and what Lutheran Disaster Response does to support refugees around the world. <span>&#160;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/LDR%20booth.jpg" alt="LDR booth.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;263px;" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em style="font-size&#58;12px;">The entrance to the &quot;Hope for the Refugee&quot; activity space at the 2015&#160; ELCA Youth Gathering</em><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Approximately 1,200 youth participants and adult leaders visited the “Hope for the Refugee” activity space and learned more about the work of Lutheran Disaster Response.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Lutheran Disaster Response also worked with Campus Ministries and Habitat for Humanity at the Youth Gathering <span>&#160;</span>to build house frames for Habitat for Humanity homes in Detroit.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/LDR%20build.jpg" alt="LDR build.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;397px;" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em style="font-size&#58;12px;">A message written by a 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering Participant on a house frame built for a Habitat for Humanity home in Detroit.</em><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">More photos of participants at the “Hope for the Refugee” activity space and of the dedication of the house frames can be found on the <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/LutheranDisasterResponse/photos_stream?tab=photos_stream">Lutheran Disaster Response Facebook page</a>.</p><p class="MsoNormal">We were blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering and to meet and interact with so many wonderful youth from around the country!</p></div>07/31/2015South Dakota: Tornado recovery in DelmontMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/306http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/306<div class="ExternalClass6ED70686057040CBA1EF8C3CC751A377"><p>​A tornado tore through Delmont, S.D, around 10&#58;45 a.m. on May 10. Delmont is a rural town in south central South Dakota with 140 housing units. Of those 140 homes, 48 were destroyed or severely damaged and 12 received significant damage. These numbers represent 43 percent of the housing units in Delmont. </p><p>In addition to the damage to homes, Delmont's fire station and water tower were destroyed, which caused the stored water to flood neighboring homes. The town's electrical substation was damaged, which cut off power to the town, and damaged home propane tanks caused a public safety hazard that led emergency officials to evacuate the town of approximately 300 people for several days. </p><p>After the tornado hit, our affiliate, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (LSSSD), was on the scene organizing volunteers, addressing immediate household needs, providing crisis counseling and case management, and assisting in planning for long-term recovery efforts.</p><p>In coordination with Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Lutheran Disaster Response has provided an initial $50,000 to assist with case management and construction management in Delmont.</p><p><img alt="Delmont tornado -LSSSD.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Delmont%20tornado%20-LSSSD.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;263px;" /></p><p><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em>A home in Delmont, S.D., that was damaged by a tornado that hit the community on May 10. Credit&#58; LSSSD</em></span><br></p><p><strong>Case Management</strong></p><p>A case manager will assist people whose homes and/or livelihoods were affected by the tornado. The case manager will assist individuals in filing claims and applying for available financial assistance, in addition to providing emotional support and counseling referrals to people who are dealing with trauma and loss due to the disaster. </p><p><strong>Construction Management</strong></p><p>Construction managers will be contracted to evaluate homes that were affected to determine which units are suitable for volunteer rebuilding work. The construction managers will supervise volunteer construction crews, manage cleanup, and assist case managers in evaluating unmet needs.</p><p>As the community of Delmont begins its rebuilding phase, Lutheran Disaster Response will be there to work with the people who were affected through every step of the recovery process. &#160;Please hold the community of Delmont in your prayers. If you would like to support Lutheran Disaster Response's work in Delmont, please visit the <a href="http&#58;//beta.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Ways-to-Give">Lutheran Disaster Response giving page</a>. </p></div>06/29/2015Nepal Earthquake: Elim Kids Academy resumes classesMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/305http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/305<div class="ExternalClass84222B4D06044321924BDCC1AD277499"><p>​Elim Kids Academy, a small Christian primary and secondary school in Kathmandu, was severely damaged in the April 25 and May 12 earthquakes that hit Nepal. Compound walls around the school collapsed and parts of the school need to be demolished and rebuilt. Despite the damage and the rebuilding necessary, classes have resumed now, a month after the earthquakes hit.</p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Wall%20of%20the%20senior%20building%20collapsed%20at%20Elim%20Kids%20Academy.jpg" alt="Wall of the senior building collapsed at Elim Kids Academy.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;261px;" /></p><p><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em>Wall of senior building at Elim Kids Academy that collapsed due to the earthquakes. Credit&#58; Elim Kids Academy</em></span><br></p><p>Rita Kabo, the principal of Elim Kids Academy, recently shared in a newsletter the experience of resuming classes and the future plans at Elim Kids Academy. Her reflection is below.</p><p><em>&quot;As parents brought in their children to the school, there were fears and uncertainties in their faces and they reluctantly left their children. Teachers have been prepared to receive students, as they were given some post-earthquake trauma counseling and psychosocial counseling last week. Most of the students were happy to be back in school and meet with their friends and see their teachers. </em></p><p><em>We have an enormous responsibility to take care of these precious lives that the parents and guardians have entrusted to us. We need to rebuild the broken walls…and we have to purchase some indoor games and crafts for the students as we need to work to release them of their fears and use creative ways to bring them back to their normal self and routine. There is so much to be done and we cannot do it alone. Your prayers and contributions in all these will help us to cope with the challenges we have in hand and slowly and steadily work toward rebuilding the confidence of the children.&quot;</em></p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Earthquake%20evacuation%20drill%20at%20Elim%20Kids%20Academy.jpg" alt="Earthquake evacuation drill at Elim Kids Academy.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;261px;" /></p><p><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em>As part of the school re-opening, an earthquake evacuation drill was held at Elim Kids Academy. Credit&#58; Elim Kids Academy</em></span><br><em></em></p><p>As Lutheran Disaster Response continues to work with those who were affected by the Nepal earthquakes, please continue to hold these people in your prayers. As we move from the relief stage to the recovery stage, emotional and physical rebuilding is taking place. Your prayers make a difference. Your gifts make a difference. Please continue to support Lutheran Disaster Response's work in Nepal by visiting the <a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/donations/nepalearthquake">Nepal Area Earthquake giving page</a>. </p><p><em style="font-size&#58;12px;">Elim Kids Academy is in part supported by an ELCA World Hunger grant that provides for teacher training opportunities and scholarships for students, many of whom come from Dalit backgrounds. </em></p><p>Follow Lutheran Disaster Response on <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/LutheranDisasterResponse">Facebook</a> and <a href="https&#58;//twitter.com/elcaldr">Twitter</a>.<br><em style="font-size&#58;12px;"></em></p></div>06/12/2015Nepal Earthquake: Distributions continue as monsoon season beginsMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/304http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/304<div class="ExternalClassA80B2460310C4CFE97B055C3E8627976"><p>​Six weeks after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that affected more than 8 million people hit Nepal, relief efforts are moving forward as fast as possible. The beginning of June marked the beginning of the monsoon season in Nepal, and the people affected by the earthquake who are short on food or without shelter are now more vulnerable to the potential landslides and torrential rains. Immediate needs are shelter, food, blankets, hygiene kits and psychosocial support. We are working with our partners to make sure these most pressing needs are being met.</p><p></p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Building%20a%20temporary%20shelter%20in%20Byasi%20Tole.%20Credit%20-%20ACT.jpg" alt="Building a temporary shelter in Byasi Tole. Credit - ACT.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;233px;" /></p><p><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em>Temporary shelters are being constructed before the rains begin. Credit&#58; ACT Alliance</em></span><br><strong></strong></p><p><strong>Response to Date&#58;</strong></p><p><strong>Lutheran World Federation (LWF)&#58;</strong></p><p>In coordination with The Lutheran World Federation and ACT Alliance, we have distributed ready-to-eat food, hygiene kits, blankets and tarps to 13,718 households in 27 towns and villages. </p><p><strong>Lutheran World Relief (LWR)&#58;</strong></p><p>Working with Lutheran World Relief and ACT Alliance, we have assisted more than 20,000 people affected by the earthquake by distributing food and shelter materials to 4,850 households. Food supplies consist of rice, sugar, lentils, oil and salt, and the packets provide enough food to feed a family of five for 15 days. </p><p>Psychosocial support has also been provided to 1,173 people across four districts. </p><p><strong>United Mission to Nepal (UMN)&#58;</strong></p><p>United Mission to Nepal has nearly achieved 100 percent of its targeted distributions in 7 Village Development Committees in Dhading district. Distributions have consisted of emergency food, kitchen utensils, tarps and blankets.</p><p>United Mission to Nepal's Health Team has also completed community-based health trainings on acute malnutrition with health workers in three Village Development Committees in Dhading. </p><p>In response to the monsoon season, UMN is exploring possibilities to help plant seeds for rice and vegetables before the rains start.</p><p>Nepal's mountainous terrain remains an obstacle that is slowing down distribution efforts. Helicopters are being used to transport supplies to villages that have been cut-off from road access due to damage or landslides, and even elite climbers are going out to deliver supplies to areas that are only accessible by foot. </p><p>Currently, Lutheran Disaster Response is working with our three trusted partners in the area to assist with immediate needs. We know that this response will last much longer than this initial relief process, and we will continue to stay in Nepal to assist with the long-term rebuilding and rehabilitation needs. </p><p>Please continue to hold the people who were affected by the earthquake in your prayers, and continue to support Lutheran Disaster Response's work in Nepal by visiting the <a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/donations/nepalearthquake?_ga=1.230998431.1404219041.1427831746">Nepal Area Earthquake giving page</a>. </p><p><br></p></div>06/08/2015