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Hurricane Sandy: Charity Prepares Domestic Disaster Relief Team in Virginia

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Disaster relief preparations are underway as a major hurricane is set to head up the east coast of the USA. In the story Category 2 Hurricane Sandy Heads to the Bahamas, it was reported that Cuba had already seen sustained winds over 110 mph, and Bermuda was in its path.

In the U.S., the domestic disaster relief team of Operation Blessing International (OBI) reports it is preparing for relief efforts as Hurricane Sandy sets its course on the East Coast.

The team is pre-staging equipment, staff and supplies at its Virginia Beach headquarters in case relief efforts are needed in the Hampton Roads area, with the possibility of a deployment in the north should that be needed.

The equipment includes:

  • Mobile Kitchen - Capacity to feed approx. 2,000 meals per day with enough provisions on board for 6,000 meals before new supplies are needed
  • Mobile Command Center with communication technology such as VHF radio, satellite, satellite news feed, and a base of operations for the team
  • 2 Construction Trailers with tools and safety equipment to equip our construction foremen and volunteers with the tools needed for debris removal, tarping roofs, flood clean-up and gutting homes
  • Box Truck with 100 cots, tarps and firing strips for 50 homes, water, MREs, and kerosene heaters
  • CAT 924 Loader for debris removal
  • 100 heaters in the event that cold weather comes in during power outages
  • OBI's fleet of Semi-Trailer Trucks (75 trailers and 18 power units) from its Hunger Strike Force are also standing by and will be utilized as needed
  • Shower Trailer for volunteers

    The team, under the direction of Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief, will monitor the storm over the weekend and decide on Sunday where to deploy based on the projected track of the storm. "Our first priority is to serve the Hampton Roads community," said Herrington-Gettys.

    Should deployment be needed further north, however, OBI has already planned with partner organizations in NY, NJ and Rhode Island.

    Operation Blessing's Haiti office is currently responding to massive flooding in that country after then-Tropical Storm Sandy dumped upwards of 12 inches of rain. Today, OBI will deliver food, water filtration units, chlorine, and toiletries to 55 families that lost their homes due to severe flooding along the river Grise near Croix de Mission, Haiti.

    Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator's coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 264 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

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