Loading
Catholic community helps East Coast prepare for Hurricane Sandy
Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy. Credit: NOAA.
Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy. Credit: NOAA.
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- As much of the East Coast braces for Hurricane Sandy, the Church is helping local people prepare for the storm, reaching out to offer shelter to the homeless and organizing disaster response efforts.

“Since Hurricane Katrina, we have focused on being prepared for future disasters,” Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, said in an Oct. 27 statement.  

“Not only are we early responders, but our presence in the community also puts us in a position to be able to quickly assess and provide support in the long-term,” he added.

After hitting Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti, Hurricane Sandy moved toward the U.S. coastline as a Category 1 hurricane, predicted to slam much of the Northeast, including Washington, D.C., New York, and New Jersey.

As the massive storm starts to hit New England on Oct. 29, its potential to cause damage and take lives is increased by its collision course with an arctic blast from the north. Experts are predicting up to one billion dollars in damage from the storm.

Catholic Charities USA has worked with its local agencies in the days before the hurricane in order “to ensure they have provisions in place to provide for any possible needs the Hurricane may create in their communities,” the group said. Local agencies along the East Coast will be able to provide disaster relief and recovery services after the storm, including food, shelter, counseling and financial support.  

The national office said that one of the toughest parts of preparing for the storm was the uncertainty about what its impact will be in different areas.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is taking these types of weather warnings lightly,” said Samuel Chambers, senior vice president of disaster operations for Catholic Charities USA.

He observed that the National Weather Service has indicated that areas of the East Coast from New York down to Florida will feel some impact from the massive storm.

Catholic Charities USA encouraged people in Hurricane Sandy’s path to make sure that they charge their electronic devices and have cash on hand, as well as to assemble an emergency kit in case evacuation becomes necessary, along with bottled water and emergency supplies to last for several days.

The organization also offered updates in the days leading up to the storm, posting links on Twitter with information on how to prepare for the hurricane and a disaster hotline number.

Local agencies also spent the weekend preparing for Hurricane Sandy, organizing disaster response efforts and spreading information on how to remain safe.

Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Camden, N.J., assembled an Incident Command Team on Oct. 28 to help ensure that the hurricane response and recovery would run smoothly.

The agency explained in a Facebook post that it had filled the positions of incident commander, safety officer and liaison officer and was dividing its disaster response and recovery efforts into distinct categories of finance and administration, planning, logistics and operations.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., announced that its homeless shelters would remain open from Oct. 29 until 7 a.m. on Nov. 1 “so all residents can stay inside during the inclement weather.”

The agency tweeted that it had 922 people in three of its emergency shelters on the night of Oct. 28. It also posted a shelter hotline number on Twitter, encouraging readers to “please call if you see someone on the street who needs to get in out of the storm.”

In addition, Church leaders voiced support and encouraged prayers for all of those in the region that is threatened by the hurricane.

“Pray for all those impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” tweeted the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Oct. 29.

Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas also used Twitter to call for prayers “for all affected by Hurricane Sandy, including those stranded in its path from the Diocese of Dallas.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia urged prayers “for all those persons injured or forced to leave their homes because of this extraordinary weather disaster.”

In an Oct. 29 statement, the archbishop noted that the storm comes amid election year discussions of the “important but carefully limited role” of government according to Catholic thought, which places a special emphasis on “local accountability and ensuring public safety.”

He praised Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Governor Tom Corbett, as well as others in the tri-state area, for responding “quickly and vigorously” so far.

These officials are “serving their people where it matters most - at the local and state levels, where the ‘common good’ has flesh and blood meaning,” he said, offering “the gratitude of the whole Catholic community” to these officials and the region’s emergency responders.

Archbishop Chaput explained that the archdiocese’s Catholic Human Services would work to provide shelter during the storm.

“While we do not have active disaster relief in place during the storm, we will cooperate fully with the Red Cross and government agencies to provide food, alternate shelter and financial relief as needed after the storm,” he added.

Tags: Natural disasters, Catholic community

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
21

Liturgical Calendar

October 21, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Gospel
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 12-22
Gospel:: Lk 12: 35-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/21/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Homily
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14