CWS appeal: 2005 U.S. hurricane response

News and Press Release
Originally published

2005 U.S. Hurricane Response
Region: North America

While a large number of people across the southern U.S., east of the Mississippi, are cleaning up and assessing damage from Hurricane Dennis, Hurricane Emily -- this year's fifth 'named' storm -- continues its path through the Caribbean toward the Gulf of Mexico.

On July 10, Hurricane Dennis drenched US costal areas - the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama in particular -- which were also heavily impacted by hurricanes in 2004. As Dennis sloshed inland up the Mississippi Valley and became a tropical depression, it dumped anywhere from 3 to 10 inches of rain over parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, before stalling over the lower Ohio valley.

Alabama received a federal disaster declaration and residents in Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile counties are eligible for assistance from FEMA. In Florida, residents in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are also eligible to apply for federal assistance. More states and counties are expected to receive federal declarations as damage assessments continue.


In cooperation with federal, state and local emergency management, faith community leaders, and local human service agencies, CWS staff will work to identify families with temporary housing and other emergency assistance needs, uninsured families, elderly, culturally diverse populations, and households with young children -- all who may also require long-term recovery assistance.


CWS will deploy its Domestic Disaster Response and Recovery Liaison (DRRL) team, both its permanent staff team and its on-call staff to various areas of impact in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The DRRLs will assist state and local faith organizations in developing and continuing long-term recovery programs focused on restoring livelihoods and homes of vulnerable populations. This assistance includes mentoring, training and financial support.

CWS will conduct at least three Interfaith Trauma Response Training (ITRT) "Care for the Caregiver" resource seminars -- two in Florida and one in Alabama are currently planned. The seminars support clergy and other caregivers in addressing the emotional and psychological impact of disasters on themselves and their ministry. "Care for the Caregivers" workshops may continue for an extended period based on need.