Hurricane Preparedness Week:
Protecting Your Family From Extreme Weather Disasters

May 27, 2014

His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver, joins IOCC U.S. Country Representative, Dan Christopulos, and IOCC Frontliner, Deacon Paul Zaharis, in taking inventory of emergency relief items for survivors of last fall's Colorado floods. The Frontliners form the backbone of the IOCC Emergency Response Network, assisting survivors of natural and manmade disasters with pastoral counseling and emergency relief since 2001. photo: IOCC
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Whether you live in a region at risk for tornadoes, hurricanes, fires or floods, Hurricane Preparedness Week reminds us that being prepared before disaster strikes can make a difference in keeping your family alive and safe. The recent Colorado floods, Oklahoma tornadoes, and Superstorm Sandy are all sobering reminders of how quickly extreme weather can destroy lives, homes and communities.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which has been delivering emergency relief to disaster survivors worldwide since 1992, offers a four-point emergency checklist to help keep you and your loved ones safe until help arrives. The plan includes action steps to prepare emergency supplies like food, water and prescription medicine, protect financial records and legal documents, and ways to get involved in helping others. "Your safety plan, regardless of the weather threat, should begin well before the storm warnings are issued,” said Daniel Christopulos, IOCC U.S. Country Representative. "Following these simple but lifesaving steps to preparedness can be critical in surviving the hours and days immediately following a disaster before emergency teams can reach you.”

Orthodox Action Team volunteers work side by side to rebuild a Delaware home damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Since first lifting their hammers to help homeless families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, more than 800 IOCC volunteers have dedicated 30,000 hours of labor to help rebuild homes and hope for families who lost everything to hurricanes, floods or tornadoes. photo: Christina Meares/IOCC
In the aftermath of a disaster, IOCC Frontline teams of specially trained and experienced personnel assist communities with emotional and spiritual care and emergency relief. As communities engage in long-term recovery, other IOCC Orthodox Action Teams, made up of volunteers from across the country, also provide support to disaster survivors with a week of their time rebuilding and repairing houses for families left homeless by natural disasters. Build opportunities with IOCC Orthodox Actions Teams are still available for Summer 2014 but act quickly to secure your spot. For details, visit iocc.org/actionteams

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

  • Organize a drive to assemble emergency clean-up buckets, hygiene kits or infant kits for people in need following a disaster. For assembly instructions, please visit iocc.org/kits
  • Support IOCC's humanitarian efforts by making an online gift to the United States Emergency Response Fund which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to those in need. To make a donation, please visit www.iocc.org, call toll-free at 877-803-4622 (IOCC) or mail a check or money order to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297-0429.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $488 million in emergency relief and development assistance to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world's most poor and vulnerable populations. For more about IOCC, visit www.iocc.org.

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

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