Often the winds of a storm haven’t even stopped blowing when Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response team rolls in. We are considered a “first responder” organization in disaster relief. With a fleet of tractor-trailers, a 300,000-square-foot warehouse, a Ham Radio Network, a high-tech Mobile Command Center, and by utilizing our points of distribution model we have become an active and efficient disaster relief organization by providing resources and help to victims of disasters. However, we do not go at it alone. We rely heavily on partner organizations and international, national and state disaster relief agencies and organizations. We have also developed a disaster preparedness program to educate communities so that they can prepare for and respond to disasters.
Our Disaster Response arm began in 1998 when we responded to a flood in Del Rio, TX, after Tropical Storm Charley. Since then, we have responded to Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington D.C., Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne that hit Florida in 2004, the catastrophic storms of Hurricane Katrina and Rita that pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005, Hurricanes Gustav and Ivan in the Gulf Coast in 2008. The following year we responded to disasters in the Philippines, the Samoan Islands, Indonesia as well as major flooding in the state of Georgia. 2010 began with devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. We have also provided relief to victims of fires, tornadoes, ice storms, power outages, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and floods in various parts of this country and around the world. By the end of 2009 we had responded to 168 unique disaster events.
Our success is due in part to strong relationships with partner organizations, and national and state disaster relief organizations. Some of those relationships include NVOAD (National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster), the Assemblies of God, Mercy Medical Airlift, and North American Mission Board, as well as several states.
When we are not responding to disasters, we are focused on disaster preparedness. Nationwide polls indicate that 7 out of 10 people are not prepared to survive three days following a natural or man-made disaster. Because we know it’s a matter of “when, not if,” we have developed a multi-faceted strategy that helps churches and individuals with preparedness and response education called H.O.P.E. Begins Here (Helping Others Prepare for Emergencies).
HBH strategies provide valuable tools and resources to help families and local churches build their own resiliency to disaster and, as a result, strengthen their position from which to help others when disaster strikes. Take the first step and learn more at: http://www.hopebeginshere.org.
For more information on U.S. Disaster Response, please call 1-417-823-8998