While we continued to monitor the damage caused by the heavy rains over the last week, and have been in touch with many congregations after the series of smaller tornadoes touched down in numerous areas several weeks ago, none were damaged to the extent that they requested one of our trailers full of supplies. Many may not realize that when we send a 53′ trailer from Nashville to a disaster area, and to the local church helping with distributing those supplies, we send the basic needs for 300 families! We don’t send supplies just for a few households, but send a full 53′ trailer providing for hundreds of families. We realize there is a need even when one family has been displaced from their home, but if a community received minor damage and items are available locally to help that family, the local church should be able to step in. When a disaster is of a much larger scale, that’s when we step in, and offer trailers full of supplies.
‘So what does Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort do when disasters are not taking place?’ Even though we’re not sending out trailer loads of supplies from Nashville, we stay busy for months, in some cases, providing additional items for low-income, uninsured families affected by the disaster. We don’t completely equip the homes of low income families with every item they need, but our policies are that we can provide the qualified families with some of the items they might have lost to help get them back on their feet from all they’ve lost. We can help these low-income households by offering them the following: New mattress sets and frames to sleep an average family of 4; a new room of furniture (living room, dining room, or bedroom); a new appliance, maybe two. If homeowners/renters are insured with a ‘household’ or ‘contents’ policy, their insurance will replace many of the items they lost, if covered for this type of disaster. Homeowners or renters not located in a floodplain are often not offered flood insurance, and even then some families choose not to pay the additional premium.
In 2017, through April 25th, we have provided 17 shipment of appliances, 13 shipments of furniture, and 13 shipments of mattress sets to Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee for people that were victims of disasters that took place months ago because of tornadoes, wildfires, and flooding. Also we use these ‘slower’ times to stock up on supplies, and to have volunteer groups work the items we purchase in bulk, so they’re ready to be packed in our food boxes, or personal care of infant care boxes, or cleaning buckets, so they’re ready to be distributed to those in need.