A Christian organization is sending one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to New Brunswick and bringing spiritual help along for the flood-ravaged province.
New Brunswick has seen record-high spring flood levels, and it's the second time in two years they've been hit hard by flooding. Samaritan's Purse Canada is no sending help and hoping to recruit volunteers to assist as well.
“Many people in New Brunswick are faced with the prospect of cleaning up after the second major flood in two years, and we’re there to help with no strings attached,” said Brent Davis, Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s Canadian ministries project director.
“Our teams have mobilized equipment and people to begin clean-up as soon as the water recedes. We’re partnering with churches, municipal officials, and other non-government partners in the area to provide a coordinated response.”
Davis added that Samaritan’s Purse staff members are also coordinating with municipal and provincial authorities in flooded areas of eastern Ontario and western Quebec, and preparing to respond when floodwaters recede.
In New Brunswick, heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt caused the St. John River to overflow for the second consecutive year. As a result, hundreds of homes along the river have been damaged. Roads have also been flooded, leaving many homeowners isolated and fearful.
Anyone needing Samaritan’s Purse clean-up assistance can call 1-844-547-2663. Anyone who wants to volunteer to help clean out flooded homes should visit SamaritansPurse.ca/NBfloods2019.
“We’re grateful to have Samaritan’s Purse ready and willing to help New Brunswick residents recover from this flooding,” said Lisa Munn, recovery manager with the province’s Emergency Measures Office. “We know from past experience that the organization is well-equipped to work efficiently and with compassion.”
Samaritan’s Purse moved its Ontario-based Disaster Relief Unit to New Brunswick so staff with the Christian relief organization can meet with area homeowners and start recruiting and training volunteers.
Disaster Relief Units are tractor trailers outfitted with disaster recovery equipment including generators, pumps, hand tools, and safety gear for volunteers. They also serve as volunteer coordination centres, and are equipped with a self-contained office, communications system, and other supplies. Samaritan’s Purse has two other Disaster Relief Units, based at the organization’s Calgary headquarters.
In recent years, Samaritan’s Purse has helped victims of a wide variety of Canadian and international natural disasters including flooding in New Brunswick in 2018, 2014, 2012, 2010 and 2008; the catastrophic 2016 wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta; and flooding in Quebec, southern Alberta, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia.
Samaritan’s Purse’s “sister” organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, often helps by providing crisis-trained chaplains to comfort and pray with disaster victims and volunteers. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are on their way New Brunswick.