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You Are There for Victims of Natural Disasters

Field Report by Dina Sleiman

UNITED STATES – From hurricanes along the East Coast, to floods and tornadoes in the Midwest, to tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes across the globe, we are all too familiar with the pain caused to victims of natural disasters. Friends like you have been helping through Operation Blessing in times of disaster both in the U.S. and around the world for decades. You’re bringing relief to victims of natural disasters when they need it most.

Thanks to generous friends like you, we can deliver disaster relief in real-time—quickly reaching out to hurting families with hot meals, emergency supplies, helping hands, love and encouragement. And we stay long after the media excitement is over, making sure to finish the job right.

Victims of natural disasters

FLOOD RELIEF FOR NATURAL DISASTER VICTIMS IN MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

In Midland, Mich., approximately 10,000 people received an urgent message to evacuate immediately. After rainwater caused multiple dams to fail, Sanford Lake and Wixom Lake both emptied out. They swallowed up entire homes as they ravaged everything in their path. 

The residents of Midland have been at a loss as to how to rebuild their lives.  And most didn’t have flood insurance because they weren’t considered to be in flood zones.

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Operation Blessing’s Disaster Relief team continued doing what we do best: providing relief to those devastated by life-altering crises. Thanks to your support, we partnered with Living Word Church in Midland. Together, we provided them with pallets of flood kits from our partnership with The Home Depot Foundation. You also sent fresh, clean water to deliver to the residents of Midland.

Natural disaster victim

The kits you helped provide have been very useful. Many residents came home to find that the inside of their homes are covered with waste water. These buckets are full of cleaning and disinfecting supplies, as well as trash bags—all of which hard to find in stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HELPING RESIDENTS IN NEED

Donna and Richard’s house was utterly destroyed. Richard said, “Ours is one of the homes that is beyond repair. It’s certainly a shock and certainly a mess.” However, supplies you sent will help them to stay safe as they survey the wreckage of their home and search for anything that might be salvaged.

Robert midland floods

We found 89-year-old widower Robert with smile on his face, despite most of his belongings sitting in a pile of trash on the curb. A faithful believer in Christ, he also said, “I have a sense of humor. So that’s what keeps me going!” 

Robert can’t drink the water in his house. He was so thankful for the clean water, supplies, and encouragement you sent to him—as are so many victims of this flood and other disasters across the U.S. and around the world!

LONG TERM HURRICANE RECOVERY IN FLORIDA FOR NATURAL DISASTER SURVIVORS

For Chad, Missy and their three kids in Panama City Beach, Fla., their nightmare lasted long after Hurricane Michael severely damaged their home. Since they lived away from the actual beach front, they had thought they’d be fine—until the storm actually struck, making them victims of natural disasters.

As Missy recorded the hurricane through her window everything turned white from rain. Then, she said, “The trees started falling, and cracking, and crashing.” Chad added, “Our roof was just lifting off our house.” 

Thankfully, the family made it through unharmed, but they could no longer stay in their house. The only place they could afford was a used RV that they bought online and parked in front of their ruined home. They all crammed into that small RV for nine months, as they made a little progress on their house.

helping victims of natural disasters recover

Then Chad got an exciting call from Operation Blessing. OB had responded to the disaster in the early days after the hurricane, and we were continuing to look for those in need of continuing help like Chad’s family. Friends like you would provide and install sheetrock and insulation for their home! As Chad watched the progress, he said with grateful tears running down his cheeks, “It just takes your breath away!”

Thank you so much for providing for families struck hard by natural disasters. You are truly a light in the darkness and the answer to so many prayers.

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