2019 May Nebraska Flooding ERT Response

Upon arriving in Fremont it was very apparent that the Hispanic community survivors were greatly affected by the flooding and were underserved. It was our intention to serve this group residing in trailer parks on the south side of Fremont.

Very quickly we faced a language barrier and a guarded trust of Anglo responders due to past actions. Most of our time was focused on 2 trailer parks serving when allowed and knocking on doors attempting to get access permission to serve their needs. Many of our leads resulted in unanswered doors or didn’t speak English. The survivors who granted us access were served. The major task for us was removing trailer skirting to air out and drying the area below the trailer to reduce mold growth. Areas below trailer were extremely moist and will need at least 5 days of drying before responders  can remove and re-install all floor insulation plus replacing trailer skirting.

Contact was also made with Bud at Habitat who has 26 houses needing work. Our first Habitat house was started  Friday morning by insulation installation and start of drywall. Friday afternoon, the team worked for a lady who was promised by 2 different groups to help her but never showed up. The team started mucking and removing baseboards. We were able to renew her trust as she knew that we cared about her. She sent a follow up email of thanks:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick”, Proverbs 13:12
While I had applied for help on my grandfather’s 100 year old house on March 29.  I went through a series of rejections from volunteer agencies.
“OB” (name removed) could not access the place because the township had not put gravel and the road and it was too soft. April 9 the “SB” (name removed) church also refused because the road was too soft. They came out to farm and said they could mop and sanitize the first floor.  But they couldn’t muck the basement because the contractor had not pumped the basement dry.  April 17, “A” (name removed) came out a week later and the contractor still had not pumped the basement dry! Then came the Methodists from Kansas City’s Resurrection Church on May 4th. Their strong group of 13 mucked the basement and pried off all the baseboards without breaking them!  We could start the process of drying out the home  and tearing out drywall.
” ….but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. ” Proverbs 13:12

Note from staff: This is why we have awesome volunteers that go on a trip at the last minute, sleep on the floor, slug through the mud, and pound in some nails. Yes, it’s to get a job done, but more importantly, it’s to offer hope. HUGE thank you to the volunteers that continue to sacrifice to bless others.

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