Greetings from Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA!
Many of you, your friends and loved ones are still reeling from this week’s ice storm. According to PECO, 715,000 of their customers lost power during the storm and as this article is posted, nearly 300,000 PECO customers are still in the dark. It is the utility company’s worst-ever winter outage incident and second only to Superstorm Sandy for the most outages during any one event. In addition to massive power outages, downed trees destroyed cars and damaged homes. Icy sidewalks and roads posed a threat to public safety and snarled traffic across the region. Here at Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA, we have been busy since the ice storm hit, working with local agencies and officials to coordinate support and lend a helping hand. That included convening conference calls for Southeastern Pennsylvania VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) that bring together County Emergency Management, Pennsylvania Emergency Management (PEMA,) Federal Emergency Management (FEMA,) American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptists, Team Rubicon and others, to share information on warming center locations, outstanding needs and important messages to convey to the general public.
We are in it for the long-haul, committed to helping victims recover from this ice storm.
Here are some things you can do right now!
- Report power and heat outages to your energy provider and to your local municipality.
- When it comes to property damage, remember to take pictures of damage and report to your insurance company and to your local municipality.
- Please check on neighbors who may not have power.
- Stay away from downed wires.
- If you have heat, offer your home as a place to stay for friends and family who are without a warm and safe place to shelter.
- Give to your local food bank.
If you congregation, community group or business is or had opened doors as a warming or charging center, thank you! And please let us at LDR-EPA know! We can share the information so more people are aware of the service, and it helps us others learn from what you have done.
The best way to keep up with the latest opportunities and information related to LDR-EPA is to follow Liberty Lutheran on Facebook and Twitter. We anticipate volunteer opportunities for debris cleanup in the coming weeks!
Thanks so much,
Julia Menzo, Disaster Response Co-Coordinator
Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA, a service of Liberty Lutheran
Lutheran Congregational Services is the agency designated by Lutheran Disaster Response (national agency) to oversee disaster preparedness and response for Lutherans in 24 counties of Eastern Pennsylvania.LCS & Liberty’s local LDR chapter — Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern Pennsylvania (LDR – EPA) works with congregations, churches, individuals, government agencies and community organizations to help prepare for and respond to natural or human caused disasters. When a local disaster occurs, LDR – EPA partners with local and federal emergency management, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and faith-based organizations to assess the situation and respond.