USA: Readying for Hurricane Ike - Disaster relief experts Operation Blessing International staging in Texas
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Sept. 11, 2008) - Disaster relief experts Operation Blessing International (OBI) have pre-staged a team of first responders, supplies and heavy machinery in Texas ahead of an imminent strike from the powerful hurricane, Ike.
The charity is monitoring the storm's progress from Dallas, and will move to a closer safe-area once the storm's track becomes more certain. OBI's national disaster relief staff are on-site, as well as OBI's state of the art mobile command center, a crane, skid steer, shower and construction trailers, and a mobile kitchen that can feed up to 2,000 people each day. OBI is pre-staging over 33,000lbs of disaster relief supplies including nonperishable food and ready-to-eat meals (MREs) for immediate response.
OBI arrived in Texas today from New Orleans, where they've spent the last week assisting residents of St. Bernard Parish following hurricane Gustav. There, the charity provided over 5,600 free hot meals for residents, managed distribution of over 19 tons of ice, assisted with debris removal, and distributed over 255,000 pounds of emergency relief supplies, food, water, hygiene kits and disposable diapers.
Says Jody Herrington, director of U.S. disaster relief operations for OBI, "We are monitoring Ike's progress and will move our staff and equipment to a strategic safe-area once we have a better idea of where Ike will hit the coast. This will enable us to launch our response within hours after the storm."
ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2007, OBI responded to a record 20 disasters in 14 countries. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. In recent years, OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornados as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. This November will mark the 30th anniversary of the organization.