Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on Monday has caused the evacuation of millions. Latest report from the police said the death toll has climbed to at least 60. Church World Service (CWS) is committed to reach out to the most vulnerable in the disaster which may claim the highest economic cost of the hurricane's rampage in US history.
Although New Orleans was spared by Hurricane Katrina massive force, the streets are inundated with water and damaging property, there is a raising concern for Christian groups to provide aid on the scene for those who were unable to evacuate.
CWS reported that "28 percent of New Orleans' residents [are] living below poverty level." Linda Reed Brown, CWS Associate Director for Domestic Emergency Response. "CWS is mobilizing to help the most vulnerable with long-term recovery."
CSW works with the local faith communities, social services and emergency management partners to assist in emergency disasters.
"While we'll have to wait for results of assessments, it's clear that even though New Orleans was spared the worst of storm surge catastrophes, there's no doubt that damage to homes and possessions will be major, throughout affected areas. Those who couldn’t even afford to get out of town to safety are likely to be least able to recover from losses," she said. "That's where CWS and community-based recovery organizations will be invaluable."
CWS said that they will continue to repair the damage that has moved northward from the coastal region of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama by preparing emergency kits and material needs to community-based recovery groups who are helping with the disaster.
Last year, CWS was instrumental during the hurricane season by working with other relief networks through their Interfaith Trauma and Response Training.
Their Domestic Response and Recovery Liaison (DRRL) was prepped and ready to assist communities after the storm by providing immediate and long-term needs.
"Our assigned disaster response liaisons will work with the faith community and support [them by] forming recovery groups who request material resources," reported Brown.