Tag: disaster services

Ready to Respond as Hurricane Season Begins

June 1 marks the first day of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Last year’s hurricane season was one of the most destructive in recent history, including 17 named storms, six of which became major hurricanes.

Convoy of Hope has served an estimated 1.4 million people affected by the 2017 hurricane season. Convoy continues to serve those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, as long-term recovery efforts continue in Texas and Puerto Rico.

Families in Puerto Rico continue to struggle with power issues, as parts of the island still lose power 2 to 3 times a week. Many there still struggle to repair or completely rebuild their homes from the damages of Hurricane Maria.

Your continued support helps bring relief to those who are most vulnerable to the possible upcoming storms. You can help by donating at convoy.org/donate. 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Disaster Services

Recovering from Harvey: The Mouton’s Story

On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast. Within hours of storm making landfall, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team was on the ground distributing emergency supplies like food, water and hygiene items to survivors.

In an unprecedented manner, the storm lingered over Texas dropping trillions of gallons of water. According to officials with the state of Texas, around 800,000 homes were affected.

In the months following the hurricane, Convoy of Hope led volunteer teams in debris removal operations for homes that had been flooded. Currently, Convoy of Hope has transitioned into delivering building supplies to churches and long-term recovery groups. These organizations then distribute the supplies to affected families.

Jessie Mouton

One family affected by the storm was Jessie Mouton’s. Jessie, her husband and their two young sons — ages five and 18 months — live in Winnie, Texas. They had been in their new home less than a year before Hurricane Harvey hit.

“New baby, new house, flood — that was the timeline” Mouton says.

The family left their home on August 26, as they evacuated from the storm. Little did they know, they would not be able move back in until December 8.

The Mouton’s home flooded with more than 12 inches of water, forcing them to remove all of the drywall in their home. They estimate they lost about 75% of their belongings —including furniture, appliances and pictures.

While their home was being restored, the Mouton’s alternated between staying with family members, in a hotel and in a camper.

Mouton describes this process as being very confusing for her five-year-old son. She remembers him being very sad the first time he saw their home, saying it was “broken”. She agreed it was broken, but promised him they would put it back together.

With the help of their local church, the Mouton’s were able to receive the drywall they needed from Convoy of Hope. Mouton describes receiving the drywall as very “unexpected and overwhelming”.

As things are starting to get back to normal for the Mouton family, they recognize there is still work to do, saying they’re “all in until it’s all done”.

Learn more about Convoy of Hope’s response to Hurricane Harvey here!

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Disaster Services / Field Story

Hurricane Maria response update from Puerto Rico

It’s been six months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and many are still struggling to recover. Convoy of Hope has since served more five million meals to survivors across the island — in addition to hygiene products, water filters and other immediate relief supplies. Convoy continues to provide long-term recovery.

Rebuilding Hope

One of the more than 95 locations across Puerto Rico that Convoy has served in response to the hurricane is Villa Esparanza, which means Village of Hope. An estimated 175 homes, roughly 80% of the village, were damaged or destroyed. Currently Convoy is helping rebuild and repair homes around the village.

With the assistance of Convoy’s full time staff, the organization’s first Disaster Community Care Team spent last week helping the village with rebuilding projects and repairs.

For more updates on Convoy’s Hurricane Maria response, click here.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Disaster Services / News

The Anatomy of a Disaster Response

The forecast calls for a storm — It could be anything from a hurricane to a tornado or even floods. But the type of disaster doesn’t matter, because the Convoy of Hope team is prepared to jump into action no matter the situation.

What happens behind-the-scenes in Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services department? All year long, no matter the season, our staff and lead volunteers are constantly training and preparing for the next response.

Of course, there are disasters that catch all of us off guard — like earthquakes or tsunamis — but more often than not, disasters are weather-related in some way and that means we can see them coming, so to speak.

It all starts in the COHOC

Whether it’s a hurricane forming offshore, severe weather and tornadoes being forecasted or extensive rainfall leading to flooding, these types of disasters put our team into motion before they even occur. When the probability of weather-related events start increasing, we activate the Convoy of Hope Operations Center or the “COHOC” as we call it. While the COHOC exists within the walls of our World Headquarters in Springfield, Mo., technology today now allows us to have a virtual COHOC wherever we go.

Once activated, we are scouring multiple sources of data to mine out the latest intel to help us shape our potential response. At the same time, we are readying the appropriate trucks, supplies, equipment and personnel to respond,  should the situation escalate.

When we hit the road

If a response is warranted, we hit the road. The COHOC continues to provide support to the team while en route by providing the latest intel on the situation and identifying potential landing spots.

Once the deployment team is in full response mode in the field, support continues from the COHOC by seeking out the latest intel, but also by communicating with other parts of the organization to provide two-way communications to and from the field. It is important for the COHOC to act as the central hub of communication for the overall response.

In addition to the COHOC, we have a Mobile Operations Center and once deployed, it acts as our base for field operations. The Mobile Operations Center and the COHOC stay in constant contact for the duration of the response through cellular and satellite communication devices.

Cleaning and Debriefing

Once the response comes to an end and the team returns home, there is a plethora of tasks including cleaning and maintenance of equipment and even debriefing to refine our processes for the next response. Once all the work is done and things are back in place, we’re ready to do it all over again.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Disaster Services / Staff Spotlight