Monday, September 1, 2008


The federal and state governments bear primary responsibility for disaster recovery, but the response by FEMA to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita well frankly was grossly mismanaged and tragically inadequate. Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast today - the following non governmental relief agencies and community-based organizations -- with records of responsiveness and accountability -- are working on the ground now to provide disaster relief and assistance for Hurricane Gustav evacuees. Please visit their websites to find out how you can help with donations of emergency supplies and funds.

Catholic Charities USA's Disaster Response Team has been deployed to the Gulf Coast ahead of Hurricane Gustav, ramping up efforts to respond to the potentially devastating storm. Once on the ground, the team will be working with the local Catholic Charities agencies in the region to preposition community resources sites. After the storm, these sites will provide water, basic food essentials, clean up supplies, personal care kits, and other items to meet the communities' recovery needs. To contribute to Catholic Charities USA's response efforts: Call (800) 919-9338

Direct Relief International
, which provides humanitarian medical relief, is sending additional relief materials to complement its pre-positioned hurricane preparedness materials distributed in high-risk areas. In the three years since Katrina and Rita, Direct Relief has supported safety-net clinics and community health centers along the Gulf Coast with $47 million in medical material aid and $4.6 million in cash assistance. Direct Relief is communicating frequently with healthcare partners treating people affected by Gustav to deliver the most effective aid possible, both in the U.S. and in the Caribbean.

Hands on New Orleans
is working with local and state agencies to prepare and ensure for a coordinated immediate response. Donations of funds to operate a volunteer reception center and to deploy an early responder team to meet immediate needs are necessary at this time; click here. To donate goods or products click here.

The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), is expediting funding to local agencies along the Gulf Coast to help with the mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Gustav. Already, LDRF has helped the Lafayette Restoration Center move seniors and people with special needs out of New Orleans and to safety, and there are many more local organizations LDRF is providing emergency assistance to. You can help. Visit the LDRF website to find out how: to donate, click here.

Operation USA, an international disaster relief agency, is partnering with established networks of community health clinics which are working around the clock to anticipate needs resulting from a major storm with 15-30 foot storm surges necessitating the possible evacuation of millions of people. Operation USA is appealing to individuals, foundations and companies for money and appropriate relief supplies to enable it to respond effectively when Hurricane Gustav makes landfall.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
(SBDR) requests for feeding capacity has now doubled from 310,000 meals per day to more than 600,000 as the Gulf Coast braces for the possibility of a Category 4 Gustav. Some 113 of 115 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief feeding units have been put on alert to mobilize along the Gulf Coast states a day or two in the wake of hurricane landfall. Several larger shelters are at ready in Texas where four Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief feeding units have deployed. Other sites will be determined as landfall nears.

World Vision, an international Christian relief and development agency, has readied emergency supplies in Picayune, Mississippi, with several truckloads of additional goods on standby in Dallas, Los Angeles and other U.S. locations. The organization's domestic disaster response teams are also on full alert today, with expert staff prepared to deploy from around the country early next week should Hurricane Gustav prove destructive.

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