From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[PCUSANEWS] PDA appealing for $10 million in Hurricane Katrina
PCUSA NEWS <PCUSA.NEWS@ECUNET.ORG>
Tue, 30 Aug 2005 15:12:08 -0500
Note #8870 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:
Aug. 30, 2005
PDA appealing for $10 million
in Hurricane Katrina relief
Disaster specialists traveling to affected areas to help survivors
by Evan Silverstein
LOUISVILLE - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has issued a $10 million
appeal for Hurricane Katrina relief.
PDA, the disaster-response agency of the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.), also has earmarked $500,000 from the One Great Hour of Sharing
offering and general relief funds for immediate response to the needs of
Some of the funds will be used to support the deployment of the
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Team (PDAT) to assist the affected
presbyteries, congregations and communities.
Katrina is one of the most destructive hurricanes ever to hit the
United States, according to PDA. Damage estimates range between $10 billion
and $25 billion.
"I can tell you right now, it will be the biggest thing we've
responded to domestically, in terms of the scope of the damage and the number
of people involved," PDA Coordinator Susan Ryan said.
PDAT representatives, along with the Rev. John Robinson, national
associate for PDA, have been in contact with middle governing bodies in
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to assess the situation and offer
Eight PDAT members are now working in those states, and eight more
have moved as close as possible to hard-hit areas and preparing to move in as
PDA staff members have been meeting each morning to discuss the
disaster and get updates from PDAT members involved in the response, Ryan
said. At least six PDAT members are committed to long-term recovery work, she
"We've got folks in there, and we're doing the assessment now," Ryan
said. "The (Florida) Keys are part of that. They're going to take a trip down
to all the churches in the Keys and give us an assessment report, so they're
on the road doing that."
A situation report issued by PDA on Tuesday described the
post-hurricane damage in Mississippi and Louisiana as "massive and
Flooding in Mississippi was devastating for at least six miles
inland, the situation report said. Biloxi and other coastal communities were
hit by a 25-foot storm surge. PDA has been told that there are no undamaged
houses in the city of Biloxi.
Two new breaks in levees sent water from Lake Pontchartrain coursing
through the eastern part of New Orleans. Officials said about 80 percent of
the city was flooded, some areas under 20 feet of water.
Ryan said the damage-assessment process may not get under way in some
areas for several days because of extensive damage. She said it is already
evident that Mississippi will be a primary focus.
"The poverty there, the communities, I think in Mississippi we're
going to find that's where we're going to be doing a ton of work," Ryan said.
"I can tell you that right now they've got it the worst, and they were the
poorest and the least able. You've got a lot of communities in Mississippi
that don't even have sewerage systems in their communities. They're not going
to have the kind of insurance that's going to allow them to recover."
Robinson said he thinks the part of Florida hit hardest was the
Presbytery of Tropical Florida, but said Florida Presbytery in the panhandle
may have sustained considerable damage. Peace River Presbytery, which was hit
hard last year by Hurricane Charley, appears to have escaped the brunt of
"I'm waiting for reports from the panhandle and from Florida
Presbytery, because they had a very high storm surge today, and we have not
heard what the results of that were," Robinson said Monday by phone.
"Pensacola and that area and Navarre Beach were hit so heavily the last time
(by Hurricane Ivan) that I really do have some concern about how well they
may have weathered this storm."
Ryan said a toll-free number will become operational within a week
for people who want to volunteer for relief-work teams.
A bulletin insert is available at www.pcusa.org/pda.
Contributions for Hurricane Katrina relief may be sent through normal
mission-giving channels by designating gifts for one of the following
accounts: U.S. hurricane response, DR000169; pastoral care, DR000161; church
damage, DR000163. Gifts by credit card can be made by calling PresbyTel at
(800) 872-3283, or online at www.pcusa.org/pda/donate/accounts.htm. Checks
payable to the PC(USA) can be mailed to: Presbyterian Church (USA),
Individual Remittance Processing, P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to
To contact the owner of the list, please send an email to
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .