Believers rush to Hurricane ravaged Florida

By August 17, 2004

USA (MNN)–It seems to be a repeat of Hurrican Andrew just 12 years ago.

Andrew killed 26 people and caused nearly $20 billion in insured property losses. Charley’s damage was estimated at up to $15 billion.

The story could have been compounded with more tragedy–and while the loss of 16 lives to Charley’s wrath is terrible–it could have been far worse, had the state not made preparation for the Category 4 storm.

Rescue teams and aid are already pouring in, to provide essential surivor goods. Restoring power to nearly one million people could take weeks. Over two thousand people were in emergency shelters, and 11-thousand more have applied for disaster assistance.

International Aid President, Myles Fish says their teams are already there getting ready to provide another essential resource: manpower. “Our greatest response, and the greatest contribution that we could provide is to help provide volunteers that can help clean out homes, repair roofs, cut down trees that are blocking driveways, and so forth. We’re also sending several truckloads of supplies down: roofing material, baby food, water purification units, things like that.”

Fish says their help is part of a multi-pronged ministry plan. “Our strategy is to work through the church so that we’re advantaging the church and their effort to reach out to their own community. As is often the case, people are often dumbfounded at the willingness of volunteers to come from as far away as Michigan, and to spend three or four days working on their home. That close interaction always gives us the opportunity to explain why we’re doing it, who we believe in.”

Fish says I-A’s greatest need is for volunteers and financial assistance, but “that could change depending on the findings of our assessment team. ”

Go to: www.internationalaid.org if you’d like to help.

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