LITITZ, Pa. (WHTM) — As federal and state agencies prepare for storm damage in the south, local disaster response teams are gearing up to help.
Mennonite Disaster Service has volunteer teams in Lancaster County and in the Southeast, ready to respond to Hurricane Dorian’s damage once emergency management officials say it’s safe to do so.
“In the early response stage, we’re looking for people who are able to carry heavy weights, have chainsaw experience, and don’t mind getting dirty,” director of operations Ron Guenther said.
Guenther says right after a major hurricane, Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers respond to help with general repairs.
“It’s things like putting blue tarps on roofs to make sure that there’s no further damage that occurs, or it might be mucking out after the disaster or chainsaw work,” Guenther said.
MDS has fully stocked tool trailers for its teams on the ground.
“Generators and chainsaws, extra fuel and portable office kits, along with shovels and other supplies that would be needed,” Guenther said.
Dorian isn’t expected to make landfall in the U.S. Forecasters expect it will stay just off the coast of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
“It will probably have things like storm surge and wind damage and lots of rain, so we will still be responding, we just don’t know where,” Guenther said.
After initial clean up, it could be a few months later when MDS volunteers will go back and focus on long-term repairs.
“That might look like major repairs to homes or if the home was completely demolished. It might be a new home for those who aren’t able to recover on their own,” Guenther said.
MDS teams will be ready to help for what could be months or years.
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