American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

ABCOPAD Hurricane Update

 

Message from Pastor Frank Frischkorn &
Mark Mahserjian-Smith

From September 28 – October 4, I had a chance to travel to Texas and Louisiana working on ABCOPAD’s response to the recent hurricanes.

Leadership: (Mark)

While in Texas, I joined Rev. Tim Schwartz, one of our ABCOPAD Pastoral Leaders who has extensive experience both in disaster relief and with the greater Houston / Galveston Community. Pastor Tim served six years as a disaster relief coordinator in Galveston, TX . As a result, he has connections with existing disaster relief coordinators, contractors, local churches, and many other resources in the area. ABCOPAD will be partnering with Pastor Tim to help us coordinate our Disaster Relief response as well as lead teams serving in Texas and Louisiana. During our time in Texas, Pastor Tim and I were able to connect with leaders identifying work needs, possible housing for mission teams, as well as discovering a variety of ways our Region can assist those in need.

Donations of money and time:

Contributions:

During the month of September ABCOPAD received over $61,000.00 for Hurricane Disaster Relief. Of that $61,000.00, approximately $34k was designated for National response to the One Great Hour of Sharing Hurricane and Disaster Relief. Approximately $27k was designated for the ABCOPAD Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund. ABCOPAD (as a Region) continues to serve by both supporting our ABC National response to recent disasters as well as leading the way in sending mission teams who can serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in the recovery process.

Volunteers: 

The $27,000 retained by ABCOPAD will be used to support mission teams traveling to Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puerto Rico to help those in need. Volunteer teams are very valuable in the disaster relief effort. The estimated cost of mudding out a home is between $8000-$12,000. On the web site Costhelper.com (http://home.costhelper.com/water-damage.html) the following estimate is provided: If an entire house is flooded with storm water, the National Flood Insurance Program provides a flood damage simulator [2] to predict the total cost based on the height of the water. For 1-4 inches of water, the estimated cost is $7,800. For 9-12 inches, the estimate is $18,930. At 18 inches, the estimated cost is $26,285. Abbotts Fire and Flood Clean Up and Restoration (http://abbottsfireandflood.com/disaster-cleanup- costs/) offers this estimate on their web site. Homeowners spend between $2,500 and $3,500 for water removal and an added $2,000-$3,000 to repair water damage. So the cost of recovering from a flooded basement could run between $4,500 and $6,500, if everything goes just right and not including abatement and remediation costs if mold sets in. And remember, these costs can vary greatly. This just gives you a picture of how costs can mount from even a modest water incursion.

Keep in mind the water from a hurricane is considered highly toxic often containing raw sewage and chemicals making clean up much more expensive. Also, normally mold has already begun to grow demanding mold remediation. When a team helps a homeowner clear their home, the homeowner saves between $8k - $12k. If the homeowner had flood insurance, this means more dollars can be used for rebuilding. If the homeowner did not have flood insurance, having an outside contractor (such as Servpro or Abbotts) is often un-affordable. In the case of our recent trip to Lake Charles, we assisted Bob Alford with a team of 10 people working for two days removing all the sheet-rock from his home floor to ceiling as well as flooring, appliances, and fixtures. The team probably saved Mr. Alford around 10k of his insurance settlement that he will now be able to use to rebuild his house. Helping volunteer teams serve in disaster stricken areas is extremely valuable and an excellent way to maximize resources.

Long term recovery: (Frank)

ABCOPAD Staff recognize the recovery process will be a long term endeavor. Just this year teams serving in New Jersey doing Hurricane Sandy Disaster recognized the 5 year anniversary of the storm. Recovery efforts continue in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. Long after the media have forgotten the disasters of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, ABCOPAD will continue to help those in need. Often, it is the help that comes months or even years following the storm that is the most significant. After most assistance efforts have left the area, struggling families are left feeling forgotten, ignored, frustrated and depressed. ABCOPAD has brought encouragement, comfort and hope in many of these situations. Even if your team can not serve immediately, there will many opportunities to help in the coming days.

Supporting Our Vision: 

To build Healthy Partnerships with Churches, Pastoral Leaders, and the wider ABC Family, to fulfill Christ's Mission in our world, the current plan is to partner with the American Baptist Home Mission Societies as they organize trips to hurricane affected areas. ABHMS Director of the Disaster Response Victoria Goff will be setting up these trips. Also our National AB Men have been hard at work doing disaster relief. The AB Men’s National Disaster Relief Coordinator, Jack Cobb began working in Lake Charles Louisiana in September. Some of our ABCOPAD AB Men joined Jack to do “mud outs” for families at Lake Charles. As opportunities to serve arise, the information will be posted on our ABCOPAD web site and Facebook page. ABCOPAD is here to serve our congregations. If there are dates when your church can send a team or have people who want to join a team, please let us know and our ABCOPAD staff will do all we can to make that trip happen. We have already been in contact with two local churches who indicated they had a team willing to serve and dates when the team would be available. As a result ABCOPAD is building mission trips around those teams.

Partnership, why we need each other:

As you and your church family consider donating to disaster relief, our hope is you will make those donations over and above your contributions to support Regional Ministry. All too often, people are moved emotionally following a disaster and want to give. As a result, many donors shift their giving from normal support to disaster relief efforts. It is easy to forget our ABCOPAD Staff are hard at work doing the administrative tasks to send funding where it is needed, coordinate mission trips and disseminate information regarding the disaster relief effort. It is our joy to be able to serve you but in order to do so we continue to need your support. As you and your church family give, please make your disaster relief contributions over and above your gifts to Partners in Ministry and United Mission. Again, we want to serve you in this disaster relief effort but we can only do that through your support.

Serving Together in Christ
Pastor Frank Frischkorn
Pastor Mark Mahserjian-Smith