BALTIMORE, MD – The National Weather Service predicts an additional 50 inches of rainfall in the Houston area, potentially causing more loss of life, extensive property damage, and hardship for the residents of the United States’ fourth-largest city. Fatalities are estimated to be five people thus far, with thousands more displaced across Southern Texas and Louisiana. “The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” the weather service said. “Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the official humanitarian agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, is closely monitoring the continuing flooding and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Staff members remain in contact with partners, including members of national and local VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and local ecumenical partners, to provide support as needed.
Additionally, IOCC is activating the Frontliners – a volunteer group of clergy and laity who are highly trained in emotional and spiritual care counseling and rapid needs assessment – to deploy to Southern Texas on August 30.
IOCC continues praying for the safety and well-being of those threatened by this storm. Gifts to the Hurricane Harvey Response Fund (iocc.org/Harvey) will help IOCC to respond with flexibility and efficiency to conditions on the ground as they develop, as well as to help the people of Southern Texas and Louisiana as they recover and rebuild months and years after the storm subsides.
“We pray for the people in the Houston region, a place close to my heart having grown up there,” said Constantine (Dean) Triantafilou, IOCC CEO and Executive Director. “While the weather forecast may hint at danger, you can never fully anticipate the scope and scale of what will come – it is important to remember that our faith sustains us even in the most challenging of situations.”
The latest information is available by following IOCCRelief on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, emailing [email protected], or calling 410-243-9820. The organization also encourages those interested to visit www.iocc.org/where-we-work/united-states to learn more about opportunities to get involved by giving a financial gift or volunteering your time. In addition, IOCC also anticipates the need for many clean up buckets and hygiene kits, details for collecting these kits can be found here: iocc.org/kits.
IOCC’s first disaster response took place following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. IOCC partners with national organizations like VOAD to help with response and recovery efforts around the US in the face of floods, tornadoes, and other natural and man-made disasters.
For more information about IOCC’s life-giving work around the world, please visit www.iocc.org.