ELCA Lutheran Disaster Responsehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/Nepal Earthquake: More than $1.9 million given for responseMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/311http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/311<div class="ExternalClassF2FD1699C4074720962E60743720E96B"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><p>​<span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;">Thanks to your generosity, Lutheran Disaster Response has collected more than $1.9 million to respond directly to the Nepal Area Earthquakes. Together, we were able to provide $527,700 to respond to the immediate needs of the people and communities affected, and we will continue to walk with our brothers and sisters in Nepal to rebuild lives and livelihoods as long-term response projects get underway. </span></p><p>&#160;We continue to work with our trusted partners, The Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief and United Mission to Nepal, to respond and provide assistance in the affected areas. Immediate response efforts have been in action since the day after the earthquake and many emergency distributions have been completed.</p><p><strong>The Lutheran World Federation</strong></p><p>Working with The Lutheran World Federation, we have distributed shelter repair materials, ready-to-eat food, blankets and hygiene kits to more than 21,000 households in 27 towns and villages in Nepal. Next phases of response are being rolled out, which includes distributing corrugated iron sheets in addition to tarps for families to use for shelter repair against the heavy monsoon rains.</p><p>&#160;<span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;">While recovery of physical property is important for the safety of families who were affected by the earthquakes, care for the all-around well-being of those impacted is something that cannot be overlooked. With The Lutheran World Federation, we will provide community-based psychosocial support that will reach approximately 14,000 people. Working with community leaders, community-based psychosocial support will help people build their strength and build resilience in their villages, which will help improve their coping mechanisms.&#160; These community-led groups will be able to serve as sustainable structures that will continue to help improve life for people who face hard times as recovery from the disaster moves into the future. </span></p><p><img alt="LWF_RMD_Bhirkot_Dolakha-04.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/LWF_RMD_Bhirkot_Dolakha-04.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;232px;" />&#160;</p><p><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size&#58;9pt;">Lutheran World&#160;Federation (LWF)&#160;delivers&#160;relief supplies&#160;in <font color="#1f497d">Bhirkot Dolakha area, Nepal</font>&#160;</span></p><p>&#160;<img alt="LWF_relief materials distribution-03.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/LWF_relief%20materials%20distribution-03.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;438px;" /></p><p><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><strong></strong>&#160;<span style="font-size&#58;9pt;">Lutheran World Federation (LWF) workers <span style="color&#58;#1f497d;">distribute relief materials&#160;in Bhirkot Dolakha area, Nepal</span></span></span></p><p><strong>Lutheran World Relief</strong></p><p>Together with Lutheran World Relief, we have provided temporary shelter and emergency food assistance to nearly 30,700 individuals. Nearly 10,000 quilts, 1,000 personal care kits and 100 water filtration units have also been distributed. As we move into the next phase of recovery, soybean seeds are being distributed to families who rely on agricultural livelihoods to help support the livelihood recovery and food security after the monsoon season passes. In addition, a cash-for-work program focusing on repairing roads throughout the rural areas is being implemented. The program will not only provide families with much needed cash but will also help improve road conditions in the region.</p><p><strong>United Mission to Nepal</strong></p><p>Working with United Mission to Nepal, all planned distributions of emergency food, kitchen utensils, tarps and blankets in Dahding district of Nepal have been completed. Community-based health trainings have also taken place in three Village Development Committees in Dhading. </p><p>&#160;Moving to long-term response, we are working with United Mission to Nepal to support 90 families that are members of a savings and credit cooperative that started in 1999. The ELCA has supported this co-op over a number of years. As part of the earthquake response, we will work to assist families in the co-op by&#58;</p><ul><li>Distributing hygiene kits</li><li>Distributing kitchenware and utensils lost in the quake</li><li>Providing for psycho-social counselling</li><li>Helping create income-generating activities</li><li>Providing financial support for home rebuilding and repair</li></ul><p>We will also work with United Mission to Nepal to help with repairs and rebuilding projects for Elim Kids Academy, a Christian school that the ELCA helps support by providing for scholarships and teacher training programs. </p><p>&#160;As we transition from immediate relief to long-term response, we will continue to keep you updated as we work with our partners in the regions to assist those who were affected by the earthquakes to recover and rebuild. Please continue to hold the people of Nepal in your prayers as they continue on this journey of disaster recovery.</p><p>&#160;Please support the Nepal Earthquake Response by visiting the <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/Nepal-Earthquake">Lutheran Disaster Response giving page</a>. </p></span></div>09/28/2015Ohio: Responding to spring and summer floodingMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/310http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/310<div class="ExternalClass59C6B79F883148FDA49699BEC6D50709"><p>​Ohio experienced 20 consecutive days of rain and 3 major storms that produced flash flooding during those 20 days this spring and early summer. On May 29, heavy rainstorms hit Ohio that caused flooding in 6 counties. On June 14, another series of storms swept across Ohio, causing flood damage in 3 different counties. 17 homes were left totally inaccessible due to damage of private bridges. In total, 365 homes were destroyed or suffered major damage, and 1,598 homes experienced minor damage. </p><p>Local long-term recovery groups have been meeting to make plans for recovery efforts, and our affiliate in the area, Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio, has been a part of these meetings. Working with our affiliate, Lutheran Disaster Response is providing for three case managers to help families who were affected by the severe weather navigate their way through the recovery process. There are many components to managing one's recovery from disaster, and processes can be overwhelming and confusing. Case managers help people with some of these processes, such as filing insurance claims and helping arrange for unmet needs. </p><p>&#160;</p><p><img alt="MaryB 185.JPG" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/MaryB%20185.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;259px;" />&#160;</p><p><span style="font-size&#58;9pt;">Ohio's Lutheran Disaster Response volunteers rebuild a survivor's house with their Thrivent Action Dollars</span></p><p>The three case managers that will be working with our affiliate will provide assistance to approximately 365-400 families over the course of 6-12 months. </p><p>When disasters occur in the U.S., Lutheran Disaster Response works with a network of social ministry organization affiliates that are located around the country. Because Lutheran Disaster Response believes that every disaster is local and every response should be rooted in the community, our affiliates help Lutheran Disaster Response to respond on a local level as they are based in communities around the U.S. where our disaster responses occur.</p><p>We will continue to work with our trusted affiliate in the area and will keep you updated on new response developments. Please hold the people in Ohio who were affected by the severe weather in your prayers as they navigate their way through recovery to post-disaster renewal. </p><p>Please support the disaster response work in Ohio by visiting the <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/">Lutheran Disaster Response giving page. </a></p></div>09/12/201510 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>06/29/2015