Category Archives: disasters

How Fort Wayne flood victims can reach the Red Cross for help

Rumors abound that some people who were displaced the June 1 flash flood at the Black Bear Creek Apartments on Reed Road in Fort Wayne are still having trouble finding assistance. The Northeastern Indiana chapter of the American Red Cross posted the following message on its Facebook page:

For anyone affected by the flooding at Black Bear Creek Apartments who has not yet been helped, please call our office at 484-9336 ext. 3. We are working with folks on an individual basis to get them assistance, referrals, etc. to help during this time.

I was involved in a conference call two days ago that included a representative of the Red Cross. The Red Cross person described how they have case managers helping each family that contacts them. The assistance available includes free laundry from a local dry cleaner and free furniture from a local furniture bank. But such services require a referral from the Red Cross, so victims must first make contact with the Red Cross. If you know anyone who needs help but has not yet reached the Red Cross, give them the phone number above.

Update: Needs met, collection of supplies for flood victims ends

Associated Churches put out the following message at 2:56 p.m. today:

Thank You!
Generous Response Meets Current Needs
Dear Friends of Associated Churches,

Many of you have heard and responded to our call to come to the aid of those in need as a result of the flash flooding last weekend. Because of your generous and quick response Associated Churches Active in Disaster (ACAD) has collected the necessary resources through financial and in-kind donations. 
Now we will be working with local relief agencies to make sure families get the items they need. If you know of someone in need, please have them call our offices at 260-422-3528 and we will direct them to where they can pick up the cleaning supplies.
Should the demand for items change and we need additional support, we will let you know. 
Roger Reece
Executive Pastor
Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County
“May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” ~Ruth 2:12 (NLT)

Update: Donations for flood victims

Associated Churches Active in Disaster logo

See an important update to this story.

Donations of supplies are coming into Associated Churches for people affected by the June 1 flash flood in Fort Wayne. There are now two sites where you can drop off the supplies listed below:

  • Associated Churches, 602 E. Wayne St.
  • HearCare Audiology, 5933 E. State St.

Associated Churches is accepting donations of the items listed below, or money that can be used to buy such items. Checks should be made payable to “Associated Churches.” Every penny of money collected will go directly to the benefit of flood victims. Associated Churches is not accepting donations of clothing, furniture or other items not listed below. The only exception is that Associated Churches always accepts food items for its food pantry ministry. Donations of food go to any family in need — recipients of donated food are not limited to flood victims.

Here’s what Associate Churches is collecting:

  • Bleach – 110 gallons
  • Cleaning Gloves – 110 pairs
  • Sponges – 110 sponges
  • Laundry Detergent – 110 gallons
  • Dryer Sheets – 55 boxes
  • Dish soap – 55 bottles

Items will be distributed through the American Red Cross, which is assisting families affected by the flood. Any family who needs help should contact the Red Cross first as some agencies require a referral from the Red Cross.

Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County solicits items for flood victims

Associated Churches Active in Disaster logo

See an important update to this story. 

Associated Churches Active in Disaster (ACAD) a ministry of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, has sent a message to its member congregations, appealing for donations to help victims of the June 1 flash flood.

Among the worst affected were residents of Black Bear Creek Apartments, on Reed Road. The flood resulted in:

  • 60 condemned apartments
  • 14 families moved to units within the complex
  • 41 families seeking shelter elsewhere
    • 80 adults
    • 30 children

As a member of Allen County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), ACAD has been asked to act as a collection site for the following needed items:

  • Clorox Bleach – 110 gallons
  • Cleaning Gloves- 110 pairs
  • Sponges- 110 sponges
  • Laundry Detergent- 110 gallons
  • Dryer Sheets- 55 boxes
  • Dish soap- 55 bottles

If your church can help, please drop off donations at the Associated Churches warehouse, 602 East Wayne Street, Fort Wayne, during the business hours of 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you would prefer to offer a cash donation, please call the Associated Churches office at 422-3528.

Associated Churches will send out an announcement when no more items are needed. Distribution of items will be coordinated with local relief agencies.

See the Associated Churches Facebook page. Follow Associated Churches on Twitter (@AssocChurches).

Associated Churches leader advises “pray, pay, stay”

Rev. Roger Reece, Executive Pastor of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, is advising that congregations and their members continue to “Pray, pay, and stay” in response to the tornado disaster in Moore, Oklahoma. In a news release, Reece explained why Associated Churches recommends monetary donations vs. sending goods and discussed the importance of affiliating with a coordinated relief organization before traveling to the disaster area. Read the news release.

How to help in Oklahoma City (and how not to)

I realize that most readers of this blog are quite some distance from Oklahoma City, but my emergency management training nonetheless prompts me to write this. I want to help Moore and Oklahoma City recover from yesterday’s tragic and devastating tornado. You probably do, too. But unless you are part of a coordinated response, you’ll do more harm than good if you travel to the disaster area or send donated items there. That’s true no matter what special skills you have.

Emergency managers have a term for what happens when uncoordinated people or goods show up: “the second disaster.” Dealing with the second disaster can draw resources away from people in need. In some cases, so many uncoordinated goods (clothing, etc.) have arrived at disaster scenes that officials had no choice but to throw them in piles until they could be dumped in landfills. Uncoordinated volunteers likewise have gotten in the way, unintentionally interfering with recovery efforts and in many cases finding themselves with nothing helpful to do.

So what can you do? Here are my suggestions:

  1. Pray. If you, like me, are Christian, ask the Lord for protection for victims and responders and for a speedy recovery, according to His perfect will.
  2. Send money. No amount of donated goods is as valuable in a disaster as the cash to buy exactly what victims need, when they need it. Donate money to your favorite national response organization. Money doesn’t require trucks that need fuel and can clog roadways in the disaster area. If all you can donate is used clothing or household items, sell them at a garage sale and then donate the proceeds. Not sure where to send the money? If you don’t already have a favorite national response organization, choose a member of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).
  3. Volunteer with a coordinated organization. NVOAD helps prevent second disasters by coordinating the responses of national organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, national faith-based organizations like denominations and Church World Service, etc. If you want to give time, contact an NVOAD member and offer your services. Even if the organization can’t use you in Oklahoma City, it can offer training and preparation, so it can send you to a future disaster.

Do any of the three things above and you can have a positive impact on the victims of the Oklahoma tornado, without contributing to a second disaster.