Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy Ongoing.

By August 21, 2013

USA (EFCA/MNN) – Remember Hurricane Sandy?

According to a federal task force study, it’s possible that a family reunion is on board. The panel released a report this week that noted the possibility that climate change could worsen the effects of hurricanes.

It included 69 recommendations for rebuilding storm-damaged areas and for reducing the impact of future severe storms. Among those recommendations was a warning that the coastline should prepare for rising seas. The report included new building standards, better planning tools and a more advanced electrical grid.

That’s all well and good, but for survivors of Sandy’s rampage, basic recovery from the Oct. 29, 2012, disaster will take years. Reach Global, the humanitarian wing of the Evangelical Free Church of America, began an immediate response.

(Photo courtesy EFCA)

(Photo courtesy EFCA)

Now, 10 months later, they’re still helping out. According to Reach Global, homeowners who have had their homes inspected have been told that they need to raise the level of sand in their crawl space. Failure to do so would mean a dramatic rise in insurance rates.

This is only one in a list of compliance issues for homeowners but it’s a daunting task to think of moving mountains of sand by themselves. Members of the Beacon Evangelical Free Church stepped in to help. What follows is a post from their blog:

One homeowner, Bill, recovering from recent knee surgery, knew that he wouldn’t be able to crawl around for days under the house with bucket after bucket of sand.

Enter our summer youth teams – practically designed to spend day after day moving literally tons of sand into what they affectionately called the “Hobbit Hole.”

(Photo courtesy EFCA)

(Photo courtesy EFCA)

The teens were amazed and excited that Bill would come and shovel sand with them for hours. They were blessed to have him join their prayer circle in the afternoons and they couldn’t wait to tell about the lunches he made for them or the beach that he took them to after a hard day’s work. Bill also talked about the blessing these teens had been to him.

The other part of their team started the week helping to get things in order at a campground and later in the week ended up moving sand over at Don’s home. His house was built higher off the ground but he also needed more sand moved.

The piles became an endless round of loading and emptying wheel barrows, and over their last three days the team figured they moved about 49 tons of sand under Don’s place.

More homeowners need sand under their homes and many need some extra manpower to get it there. Unfortunately, there are no teams signed up to work in New Jersey between August 18th and October 12th. Pray that God will allow the coordination of teams with jobs to best utilize their skills and that the crisis response ministry would be effective in ministering to those around Beacon EFC.

Anything that isn’t finished before the end of summer will have to wait until fall teams start coming. To send a team, check out the Reach Global website!


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