BATON ROUGE – Leaders are desperately calling for volunteers as some 40,000 homes are still soggy from flooding in Louisiana.
“The vast majority of those homes were not in a floodplain,” said Dwain Carter, director of Disaster Relief for the Missouri Baptist Convention (DR). “It’s just street after street, neighborhood after neighborhood with water in homes. If you drive by a ditch, it’s full of trailer homes, cars, trucks and motorhomes.”
Currently, there are four Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief mud-out teams, a feeding unit, two shower trailers and an incident command unit in Louisiana, but Carter said he is hoping for more volunteers. The need is ongoing, and the normal training requirements for volunteers have been lifted. Willing Missouri Baptist volunteers are being asked to join other “walk-up” volunteers from Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and, of course, Louisiana.
At least 27 local Louisiana Baptist churches are already serving as home base for mobile feeding centers, hosting disaster relief volunteers, serving as shelters for evacuees, responding to mud-out requests for areas where waters have receded, distributing food, water, clothing and other essentials to sustain families displaced by the flooding; providing mobile shower units; and performing quick training for walk-up volunteers.
“The water is down for now, but there is rain in the forecast for later this week,” Carter said. “The need isn’t going away. If you want to come, get in contact with us.”
Carter said he estimates Missouri volunteers will be needed for another six weeks helping people recover from the floods, and local cleanup to last into October or November.
The phone number for the MBC DR office is 1-800-736-6227, ext. 314, and Carter may be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. Those unable to volunteer in Louisiana can also give to relief efforts online at mobaptist.org/DR.