The teams are heading to a staging area in Middleton,N.Y.before heading to New York City with the primary goal of helping the under insured elderly and needy clean up after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Tuesday. The team includes three chainsaw teams to clear trees and debris, a food service team that can provide 35,000 meals per day and a mud-out team from Norman to help victims clean out flooded homes.
“These teams will be a second wave of disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy victims since most of the current teams have been there since the beginning of the week and will need a break,” said Sam Porter, state director of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. “Services like the mud-out team usually cost $15,000 so we’re in a unique position to help get those affected back on their feet.”
The mud-out team clears out all the furnishings in the residence, including carpet, and cuts out the sheetrock two feet above the water line to prepare for restoration.
“Cleanup after the storm is expected to take weeks and months so it’s likely there will be more of our teams sent,” Porter said. “ We’ve been working with state emergency managers to coordinate the response and show the Oklahoma spirit to help others.”
The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief team, a ministry with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, works closely with agencies including the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to provide critical services.
“They provide the food and we provide the volunteers to prepare it and serve it,” Porter said. “We’re blessed that we have selfless volunteers willing to give up their time and talents to help support fellow Americans in need.”
For updates on the Oklahoma volunteers, or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Baptists’ disaster relief operation, visit www.okdisasterhelp.com.