DSC

Disaster Services Update

Disaster Services Update 2000 1600 SVDP USA

Disaster Services Corporation (DSC) has been incredibly busy this year, responding to the devastating winter storms, wildfires, floods, tornados, and hurricanes which have compounded the suffering of Americans who are dealing with the second year of a deadly pandemic.

DSC, while having a modest team, has had a major impact in Vincentian communities nationwide. More than ever, DSC has focused their relief efforts on supporting SVdP Councils and Conferences, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash cards, tarpaulins, tents, generators, hygiene kits, hotel stays, food commodities, and disaster case work.

Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, Chief Executive Officer, recently visited the Council of Nashville, Tennessee to tour the devastation from the catastrophic fall floods in Waverly, TN and worked with the Nashville Council, local government officials, and partners on standing up DSC’s national recognized recovery program, House in the Box.

Two months ago, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States hit Louisiana and then traveled from LA to PA, NY, NJ, and other eastern states. Hurricane Ida killed 115 people. Kevin Peach, Chief Operating Officer, visited Louisiana to answer the call for support from the Archdiocesan Council of New Orleans and the Council of Houma-Thibodaux. He visited several key locations, met with FEMA and state leadership, and joined partners in recovery planning for the region. Currently, Vincentians across the Southeast and North Central Regions have come to the aid of their fellow Vincentians in manning four Parish Recovery Assistance Centers (PRACs) across Louisiana. They are providing cash cards, handing out tarpaulins, and registering survivors for FEMA assistance.

Anthony Pluchino, Chief Program Officer, continues to lead the State of Oregon with the Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP). He visited Oregon and met with the ODHS management, state sponsored DCMs, Catholic Charites DCMs, Glide Revitalization DCMs, and Santiam Service Integration team. In addition, he met with leaders of the community and LTRGs to discuss programs and special projects that can help the survivors recover in the community. Anthony shared his experience on the devastation that he witnessed from the wildfires. At some of the sites he visited, there was nothing left standing except for a stone fireplace or chimney. Acres of trees burnt from the fire have been cut down and trucked away. Since the trees have been cut down, there is growing concern of potential mudslides. At times, Anthony reports that it was hard to breathe because of the smoke still hanging over the mountains. The total Value of Services provided to date is in excess of $ 250,000. Our partners are working very closely with the LTRGs to obtain much needed resources for the survivors.

Eastern Region

  • NJ Hurricane Ida
  • PA Hurricane Ida
  • WV Floods

Mideast Region

  • KY Floods

Southeastern Region

  • TN Floods
  • FL Hurricane Ida
  • GA Hurricane Ida
  • LA Hurricane Ida

South Central

  • TX Winter Storm

Western Region

  • CA Wild Fires
  • NV Wild Fires

Please keep all of the disaster survivors across the nation, as well as DSC’s staff and volunteers in your prayers.

10-14-2021 A Letter From Your Servant Leaders

10-14-2021 A Letter From Your Servant Leaders 1367 1520 SVDP USA

Dear Vincentian Friends,

At our National Business meeting held during National Assembly in Houston, I was asked to provide our local leaders with more information on the current Disaster fundraising campaign and how such funds are utilized during the year. Our members have been very generous in funding disaster relief and recovery efforts for years, and especially so this year. Our National Council subsidiary Disaster Services Corporation – SVDP USA (DSC) is a central, but not the only, part of our disaster presence in the United States and internationally.

In the last fiscal year which closed on September 30, the National Council provided Rapid Response Grants and Long Term Response Grants to local Councils and Conferences to use for direct relief in their communities. These grants are requested and managed through DSC, and funded with monies raised by the National Council and deposited into a  donor restricted fund called the Domestic Disaster Fund (DDF). Over the past fiscal year, 16 such grants were provided totaling approximately $155,000. These grants provided local support in communities stricken by floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

Many Vincentians tell us that they know how such disasters can strike anywhere, how they feel blessed not to be one of the communities affected – at least this year – and how their Vincentians want to reach out to help these other members in these times of need. In fact, many of our donations come from Conferences and Councils that were victims of past disasters and understand the challenges!

The Domestic Disaster Fund also provided funds as directed by the National Council board of directors to provide administrative support to DSC. While DSC attracts major grants for its work, often these grants do not provide for the administrative needs during, and especially between, such large disasters. The disaster organization can’t re-start for each disaster; it needs as constant presence to be ready when the need arises. Our DSC volunteers and staff can also be on location for months after the initial event providing long-term recovery efforts, and some of these costs are not covered by FEMA and other grant funds. This past year, DSC was provided with an annualized allotment of $150,000 by the National Council for its administrative overhead support.

Finally for domestic operations, the National Council provides fundraising support for DSC. The annual campaign such as the one just completed on September 30 provides general operating support for DSC use. The campaign focuses on our own SVdP members. Last year this campaign raised $414,233, with $246,755 allocated to DSC. These funds were sent to DSC in installments, with $105,000 during the 19-20 FY and the balance of $141,755 was sent directly to DSC last fall for its use in addition to the funds discussed above.

When all the funds and supports are added up, last fiscal year the National Council through our generosity provided DSC with $453,625 to support its great work. Thank you!

None of these funds are related to the campaign just completed. I am happy to report to everyone that this year we raised $926,818 to be used for a variety of disaster-related purposes. The Disaster Services Corporation will receive $494,199 directly from the proceeds for general unrestricted use. The National Council Domestic Disaster Fund will receive $164,733 to provide local and national disaster support as outlined above for current and future needs. Again, we don’t wait for the disaster to occur to raise funds and otherwise be prepared; the DDF allows us to provide immediate support within hours of a disaster event.

We are a worldwide network of charity. Our efforts to fund disaster relief and recovery also extends to providing support to councils of our Society throughout the world. This process is organized and overseen through our international member committee called CIAD – Commission for International Assistance and Development. Bill Brazier and I are members on this Commission. In the campaign just completed, we have dedicated $219,644 for future international requests of disaster support around the world. Most member countries do not have the resources we have in the United States, so our shared blessings are appreciated greatly for these outstanding needs! All of these funds never leave Vincentian hands from our donors through the direct relief in far-away communities.

The campaign is largely conducted in-house utilizing our National Council development and accounting staff, with some outside resources for writing and tech support. We are proud to keep our fundraising and management expenses to only five percent of the collected proceeds that will provide disaster resources flowing around our country and around the world.

Serviens in Spe,
Ralph Middlecamp
National President

SVdP Disaster Services Corporation Host P-RACs to Assist with Kentucky Flooding

SVdP Disaster Services Corporation Host P-RACs to Assist with Kentucky Flooding 940 788 SVDP USA

Kentucky experienced a record-breaking flooding event this past year. Heavy rains caused major flood events in Eastern Kentucky, a region that has suffered three floods in less than a 12-month period. There was a total of 49 counties that issued disaster declarations. The storm event produced 4-7 inches of rain across a wide stretch of the state that pushed the rivers to levels not witnessed in decades. The Red River overflowed from its banks and rose past 8.5 feet above the flood stage. The Kentucky river also overflowed over 11.5 feet above the flood stage. Fire and safety crews rescued hundreds of families across the hardest hit counties.

Residents say the flooding overwhelming their communities was the worst in almost 40 years. Many people were completely washed out of their homes and have not been able to return due to the damage caused by the flooding. A large percentage of the survivors are not physically able to do the labor needed to help them return to a safe and secure home. Some struggle to afford building supplies for the immense number of repairs.

But, Kentuckians are resilient. Disaster response and emergency management are not only the responsibility of government but also of every community. One organization in particular that has answered the call for action is the Disaster Service Corp Society of St. Vincent De Paul USA (DSC SVDP-USA). The DSC SVDP-USA is the perfect example of private sector leadership serving and leveraging the power of Americanism and faith to approach communities impacted by disaster with compassion and competence. The Disaster Services Corporation (DSC) is a Catholic lay organization that helps people in situational poverty as a result of natural and man-made disasters get their lives back in order.

About the Parish Recovery Assistance Center (P-RAC)

DSC is supporting local, state, and federal agency responses to recent flood events in the state and determined the best way to aid local efforts is to focus on immediate and emergent needs. Disaster Services Corporation is meeting those needs by working with survivors to apply for FEMA and State Disaster benefits and will have other resources available. One essential deployment team will be gathering in the state from Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. They will be operating in partnership with Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Lexington, and the Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (KYVOAD).

Disaster survivors will need to bring an ID and can be assisted if they have suffered losses in one of the disaster-impacted counties.

Locations, Dates, and Hours of Operation

Location: Holy Family Parish, Booneville, KY.
Address: 1439 KY Highway 11S, Booneville, KY 41314
Dates: May 24 – 26
Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM on Mon and Tue; 9 AM – 3 PM on Wed

Location: St. Michael’s Parish, Paintsville, KY
Address: 720 Washington Ave., Paintsville, KY 41240
Dates: May 27 – 28
Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM on Thu; 9 AM – 4 PM on Fri

“Our Parish Recovery Assistance Centers will be providing person to person services, utilizing COVID-19 safety protocols, for Kentucky homeowners and renters who sustained losses from the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides from Feb. 27 through March 14, 2021 in several counties in Southeastern Kentucky. Disaster Services Corp, Society of St. Vincent de Paul assists families in long term recovery by helping them navigate state and federal benefits, referrals and disaster resources. We are grateful for the support of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, KY, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Lexington and Kentucky VOAD for collaborating with us on the P-RACs,” said Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO DSC SVDP-USA.

The Disaster Services Corp., SVDP-USA is fueled by Vincentians from around the country, however we also rely on the kindness and giving from monetary donations. To support our efforts please visit our donations page and help us grow our impact in those communities most vulnerable. Our donation page can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Ml1lO4.

About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul

One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents.

With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals nearly 100,000 in nearly 4,500 communities. SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility assistance. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly. Over the past year, SVdP provided nearly $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 2 million personal visits (homes, hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities) and helped more than 5.2 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a founding member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and its Disaster Services Corporation provides relief and recovery to disaster survivors across the United States and American Territories.

 

DSC House in a Box

House in a Box Program Provides Home Essentials for Michigan Flood Survivors

House in a Box Program Provides Home Essentials for Michigan Flood Survivors 2560 1921 SVDP USA

While the media focuses on the winter-weather disasters that recently impacted Texas and other Southern states, neighbors to the north are still recovering from a different disaster that hit one community almost a year ago. A historic 500-year flood that swept through Midland County, Michigan in May 2020 left thousands facing hardship. But thanks to a partnership between the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group, United Way of Midland County and the Disaster Services Corporation, flood survivors can receive home essentials in an efficient “one-stop shop” way as they work to rebuild their lives.

House in a Box

Organized and led by the Disaster Services Corporation – Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA, the House in a Box Program™ (HIB) provides necessary home items for disaster survivors, all in one kit. One package includes the following brand-new items:

  • Beds
  • Linens
  • Dishes
  • Pots and pans
  • Dressers
  • Silverware
  • Bathroom setup
  • Dinette
  • Couch

“The goal of the program is to provide new household items for families who have lost everything due to a disaster — like the flood that Midland County experienced — and who are forced into situational poverty because of such events,” said Kevin Peach, COO, Disaster Services Corporation.  “House in a Box gives dignity to families in crisis as it gives them a new and fresh start.”

Midland County’s Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group — a cross-sector group of individuals from a variety of organizations and agencies working together to help the community recover from the flood — helped spearhead the efforts to bring HIB to Midland County.

“After the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group reviewed the program and met with SVDP-USA Disaster Services representatives, we found a perfect match between what this well-established program offers and the needs of individuals and families who suffered catastrophic loss in the Midland County flooding,” said Rev. Matthew W. Schramm, Long Term Disaster Recovery Group member and senior pastor/head of staff at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland. “Being able to receive these building blocks of a home in one place is convenient. For those who have experienced such upheaval, convenience is a blessing.”

As part of the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group, United Way of Midland County helped provide financial support, as well as logistical and volunteer coordination for distribution of the household items. On February 23, volunteers from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the United Way gathered at the warehouse to assemble and organize the HIB materials for distribution.

Says Peach, “It really is a holistic approach to try to get everything (disaster victims) could possibly need.”

Disaster Services Corporation

The Disaster Services Corporation (DSC) is a Catholic lay organization that helps people in situational poverty brought about by natural and manmade disasters get their lives back in order. It is a sister company to the National Council of the United States, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which has provided disaster relief since its founding in France in 1833.

How Does the HIB Selection Process Work?

“Families are reviewed and referred to the program through a Disaster Case Management process that ensures that there is no duplication of benefits,” according to Peach. “DSC buys furniture and furnishings in volume through pre-screened vendors so that it can provide a starter household furniture kit at a greatly reduced price.”

All families receive the same new items which are packaged for efficiency of delivery. The program is scalable to the size of the family and starts at $3,200 for a family of four. United Way is utilizing funds from their Rise Together fund to purchase the kits at a discounted rate, saving over $58,000, versus paying for these new household items individually.

Midland Flooding

You may not have heard of the flooding in Midland, but its impact on local residents was devastating. Over 10,000 people fled their homes because of the Midland County flood, which resulted in over $200 million in damages to more than 2,500 buildings.

“Rebuilding after a disaster is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Bre Sklar. “It does not happen overnight. But through the generosity of organizations and programs like House in a Box™, our community members can get access to much-needed resources to pick up the pieces of their lives.”

For more information on the Disaster Services Corporation – Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA, including how to donate to help disaster survivors, visit their website.

Disaster Services Corporation

Winter Storm Update From Disaster Services Corporation

Winter Storm Update From Disaster Services Corporation 2000 1600 SVDP USA

The Disaster Services Corporation, St Vincent de Paul USA (DSC, SVdP-USA) is providing support to Councils and Conferences in the areas impacted by Winter Storms Uri and Viola. DSC is working closely with the State of Texas and Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Additionally, we are working in coordination with the National SVdP Office to provide Rapid Response Grants to cover the costs of rent, food, pipe repairs, hotel stays, etc. Lastly, DSC, SVdP-USA is also monitoring and supporting Vincentians in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families without water and power.

To help support the work of DSC in this winter storm season, visit Disaster Services Corp., St Vincent de Paul-USA  and choose “Where It Is Needed Most.”

Here’s What You Need to Know

  • As power begins to return, many Texans are now without drinking water.
  • Most power is back, but 500,000 Texas homes and businesses are still in the dark.
  • The latest storm is knocking out power in Mississippi, Kentucky, and elsewhere.
  • Several inches of snow are expected in the New York area, as vaccine shipments are delayed.
  • 31 people have died across the country due to the winter storms.

Recap From the News

The winter storms and colder weather may persist in the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley through midweek, and a new winter storm is expected to sweep across the South and East over the next two days. More than 100 million Americans are under some type of winter weather warning.

As Texas struggles to restore power to millions of residents affected by the brutal winter weather, officials are now scrambling to provide clean water as well. Cities and counties across the state, including Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, have issued boil water notices stemming from concerns about contamination and low water pressure as frigid temperatures freeze pipes, leaving some households with little to no running water.

As of Wednesday, nearly seven million Texans were under a boil water advisory, and about 263,000 people were affected by nonfunctioning water providers, Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said at a news conference. During a news conference on Wednesday, W. Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said facilities were reporting broken water mains, lack of running water, oxygen shortages and other problems.

Texas wasn’t the only state contending with power issues. Other states where outages numbered in the tens of thousands included Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio and Oregon, according to poweroutage.us, a utility tracking site.

While some facilities can provide heat during the blackouts, others are relying completely on generators and cannot provide any heat. With another storm on its way to Texas, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Saturday.

Winter’s brutal assault continued Wednesday night as another snowstorm roared its way across the nation through the end of the week, hitting areas where millions were already without electricity in record-breaking cold.

More than 100 million Americans are in the path of the storm as it tracks from the southern Plains to the East Coast over the next few days, the National Weather Service said. But the nation’s heartland will get some relief over the weekend, the weather service reported, as the frigid air will begin to moderate over the next couple days.

But first, much of Texas and the Southeast will have to endure heavy snowfall and “ice accumulations of a light glaze to a few hundredths of an inch” through Thursday. Heavy snow is forecast to move work its way as far north as southern New England on Thursday.

The next winter storm will bring more snow and ice and “just a real mess” to many areas of the country, including the South, Midwest and Northeast, AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. As the storm advances to the northeast through Friday, snow is forecast to fall along a 2,000-mile-long swath from northwestern and north-central Texas to northern Maine, AccuWeather said. Freezing rain and sleet will occur to the south and east of the snow zone, extending from central Texas to southeastern New York state.

Ice accumulations of a quarter to as much as three-quarters of an inch are forecast in some areas. “In the areas that contend with these devastating ice accumulations, residents can expect dangerous travel conditions, numerous power outages and extensive tree damage,” the weather service said.

FEMA Update Region VI – TX

  • 15 non-American Red Cross shelters open with 1,068 occupants
  • 34 congregate shelters open with 1,140 occupants
  • 10 non-congregate; 134 warming shelters open
  • Total of 200 warming shelters throughout the state: www.tedem.texas.gov/warm/
  • Boil Water Notices in effect for 40 counties; boil water notices are not for the entire county, only certain public water systems within these counties
  • 729k liters of water, 10.9k wool blankets, 50k cotton blankets, 225k meals staged at DC Fort Worth (TX Consolidated Staging Area)
  • 1 million (-2 million) customers (9%) without power
  • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) energy conservation plan continues with rotating outages due to high demand exceeding available generation capacity generation resources are strained due to cold weather tripping units, natural gas supply curtailments, and wind power generation outage
  • I-35W in Fort Worth remains closed causing detours and traffic delays
  • TX EOC at Partial Activation (COVID), working 24/7 operations this week for winter weather; Governor declared a state of emergency and requested an Emergency Declaration; approved Feb 14

Who to Follow

What to Download

Stay informed: Download the FEMA App to receive real-time weather alerts, safety tips, and sheltering information.

How to Help

Donate to support Disaster Services Corp., St Vincent de Paul-USA  and choose “Where It Is Needed Most.”

 

Disaster Services Volunteer Training

Disaster Services Volunteer Training 940 788 SVDP USA

The Disaster Services Corporation provides person-to-person recovery services to families impacted by man-made and natural disasters across the United States and U.S. territories.

Please join DSC CEO Elizabeth Disco-Shearer for a special volunteer training opportunity this Thursday, January 28, from 12:00 – 1:12 PM Central, on learning to protect the Personal Identifiable Information of Disaster Survivors.

Topics Include 
  •    Understanding your responsibility as a volunteer
  •     Learning about the Privacy Act
  •    Gaining knowledge on how to safely transmit data
  •     Reviewing DSC’s requirements for protecting the data of survivors.

Participants should register in advance by clicking here.

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